Mercedes say their power unit is getting closer to reaching the 1,000bhp milestone despite making further efforts to improve reliability in the wake of Lewis Hamilton’s engine failure in last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s high-profile retirement while he was leading the race came at a decisive point in the championship battle.
“We had a few painful incidents last year,” Mercedes engine designer Andy Cowell admitted at the launch of the team’s new car today.
“The team, we’ve done a few investigations into that and there are some very big changes in Brixworth right from the way we do our research, the way that we approve steps forward, the way that we do our concept reviews, the way that we confirm that development is appropriate. The way we work with suppliers, the way we manufacture bits ourselves. The way we assemble parts, quality throughout the whole chain has been lifted.”
“On [Hamilton’s Malaysian Grand Prix failure] there are about six design changes within the engine to improve that particular system, the bearing system. And probably about three or four quality improvements in the way the power unit’s assembled and then looked after through its life.”
However Cowell revealed the team is closing on the milestone 1,000bhp figure from its V6 hybrid turbo engine.
“It’s getting closer and closer every upgrade,” he said. “I don’t think we’re ever going to say exactly where we are.”
“To win races it’s not about a ‘dyno derby’. If we were having a ‘dyno derby’ the power train would be completely different and we wouldn’t be bothered about volume or mass or heat rejection.”
“The partnership that we’ve got means that we optimise every system to come up with the fastest race car to win the race. And it’s not just about qualifying, it’s about winning the races, getting those 25 points. That’s what we spend our working lives and a lot of our out-of-work lives thinking about, and the whole team at both Brackley and Brixworth focus on.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year