Mercedes: New F1 engine power boost won’t last long

Mercedes believes that the power advantage Lewis Hamilton has got from a fresh Formula 1 engine will not last long.

The world champion’s straightline speed performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix proved critical in allowing him to charge from the back of the grid in the Interlagos sprint race to take victory in Sunday’s main event.

Rival Red Bull admits it is still seeking answers as to just how Mercedes was so fast on the straights, as it probes ways that the German car manufacturer could be flexing its rear wing to reduce drag.

New F1 engines deliver more power than older builds, which has been in evidence at Mercedes this season when the degradation across the life of a power unit has been noticeable.

Even though Mercedes is more confident about the reliability troubles that have been a worry in recent weeks, it still expects the power advantage it has from the fresh engine to slowly disappear.

Team boss Toto Wolff said: "There is a performance drop-off with any engine.

“It means that, even though we'll be racing with the engine until the end of the season, we'll certainly lose performance."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Mercedes call to fit another power unit at Hamilton in Brazil has left the team confident it can now make it through to the end of the campaign without needing any further changes.

“Yes, absolutely,” said Wolff. “We are going to the end of the season now with this engine. We still have questions over reliability, but we hope we have had the right answers, and we’re going to the end.”

Read Also:

Mercedes trackside engineer director Andrew Shovlin explained that the choice of when to take the power unit was triggered by the fact that a straightline speed boost at Interlagos would be especially valuable.

“There wasn’t a technical reason to change, as in we didn’t think we were at risk of failing and we don’t think we were at risk of failing, although these power units are running awfully hard and you can never take reliability for granted,” he said.

“There is an attraction to take a penalty at a sprint race because if you can win on a Saturday that is more points you can score and you can lessen a deficit. It was also a track that we hoped we could overtake at and recover positions, and we proved that in the last two days.

“Also you want to get these things in the pool because, when you get to Abu Dhabi, you are not going to get the advantage of it for more than a single race.

"So there are a number of reasons and it is never black and white, but on reflection we picked a good circuit to do it.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ferrari: Hamilton's sprint race charge ends debate on F1 reverse grids
Previous article

Ferrari: Hamilton's sprint race charge ends debate on F1 reverse grids

Next article

Qatar confident of 'a lot of overtaking' in inaugural F1 grand prix

Qatar confident of 'a lot of overtaking' in inaugural F1 grand prix
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021