Formula 1 News: Mercedes are reportedly dealing with their possible engine unreliabilities after flying them to Brixworth recently. This also forced them to not give a new power unit to Lewis Hamilton in Turkey.
Instead, the Silver Arrows gave him a new internal combustion engine (ICE), serving a 10-place grid penalty in Istanbul. Meanwhile, the rest of the components in his PU are still the old ones.
Though Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff claims Hamilton can end the season with his new ICE. There could be a possibility of taking a new power unit, handing him a full grid penalty, as there is a possible risk.
“It [fourth ICE] can last until the end of the season but there could be a moment where we say is it worth taking a fresh one because the other one is still at risk,” said Wolff. “So this is something that is going to be really a work in progress.”
Formula 1 news: The added pace in Mercedes engine
In Turkey, Mercedes was immensely swift, prompting Max Verstappen to admit their superiority. “They were very strong here,” said the Dutchman. However, Verstappen managed to regain his championship lead by six points courtesy of Hamilton’s P5 finish after the grid penalty.
But with the US Grand Prix is also rumoured to benefit Mercedes, Red Bull’s Christian Horner made his concerns public. He confesses that Red Bull doesn’t have any card remaining to match Mercedes’ newfound pace.
“It is surprising that Mercedes has made such a step with the engine,” he said. “They have made a clear step forward in terms of speed on the straight. At first, we compensated for that by using less downforce, but now we are really not getting any closer.”
“Obviously, they’ve also had reliability issues this season, and that is unusual for Mercedes, but at the same time, they are very fast,” Horner added. Mercedes currently lead Red Bull by 36 points in the F1 constructors’ championship.
Formula 1: Exaggerated claim?
But citing Turkey’s example for calculating the deficit between Mercedes and Red Bull isn’t accurate. Contrary to Horner, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko feels Mercedes’ superiority claim after Turkey is an exaggeration.
He summons AlphaTauri’s example (Red Bull’s sister team)in Turkey. According to him, they were giving quicker time than Red Bull. He feels that the setup by Mercedes and AlphaTauri were better than the Milton-Keynes-based outfit.
“If you calculate the difference between the drivers, you can say that the Alpha Tauri was the faster car under the special conditions on this track,” said Marko. “They just did the setup side of things better than us.”
If Red Bull has a disadvantage in the US, they have an established edge in Mexico and Brazil. So, Red Bull wouldn’t be much worried about their contest in the American leg of the F1 calendar.