Formula 1 News: Earlier on Thursday, Mercedes reported to send back all of its engines used until Italy back to Brixworth for investigation. The news comes after concerns about engine unreliability rising within the Mercedes’ engineering department, ahead of the race in Turkey.
It is also speculated that these mounted concerns propelled Lewis Hamilton to receive a new international combustion engine instead of a whole power unit. Whilst Hamilton has a new engine, the other components in his current power unit are old.
Thus, the old components within Hamilton’s PU would likely be stressed over the limit, placing its sustainability under question. Therefore, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is not ruling out another grid-penalty for Hamilton.
“Yes, but there could be a moment when you say ‘is it worth taking a fresh one because the other one is still at risk’,” said Wolff when asked whether Hamilton could sustain with his current pool of power units. “So this is something that will be a work in progress.
“I would very much hope not, but there are seven tough races in front of us. Let’s see how the points pan out and I would never say no. But normally, four engines look quite sufficient.”
Formula 1 news: Grid-Penalty for Mercedes
– a necessary evil
Mercedes seems faster than Red Bull on this circuit. However, Hamilton’s grid-penalty is the only hindrance to his championship’s pursuits in Turkey. But if conditions remain the same, he may eventually manage to recover most of the damage posed by the penalty.
Meanwhile, Wolff justified Mercedes’ decision to pick a penalty in Turkey. As he reveals, if they hadn’t taken a penalty in Turkey, they would have dealt with a Hamilton DNF. Such a scenario is unaffordable to Mercedes, with Wolff computing that Hamilton would need to win four races successively to recover from such a setback.
“We had to do it. Some data on the internal combustion engine didn’t look very promising, and a DNF is a total killer for the championship,” said Wolff. “The team have seen throughout the season that we have some little gremlins.
“We weren’t completely sure where they came from and how much performance they could potentially cost. We would rather have a new engine in the pool that can possibly go longer.”
Nevertheless, a right decision by Mercedes, as Turkey statistically have been their stronghold. Otherwise, some of the following tracks in the upcoming Grand Prix are speculated to be more suitable to Red Bull.
So, under such a situation installing a new engine in Mexico or Brazil would have been a blunder by Mercedes. And not only it would be a threat to Hamilton’s driver championship prospects but Mercedes’ own constructors’ title chances.
Additionally, Mercedes can still take a risk in the middle-east where two tracks- Jeddah and Qatar are debuting. Both teams are unaware of the characteristics of that track. Hence, if Mercedes is in dire need of engine change, they can gamble in the middle-east.