Whereas Mercedes hopes to get by way of the remainder of the season without having a recent energy unit for championship chief Lewis Hamilton, there are rising issues that it could have to take action and take a grid penalty.
The precarious state of affairs the workforce is in was highlighted over the Russian Grand Prix weekend when a recent engine Valtteri Bottas had fitted in Italy hit bother and needed to be eliminated.
That compelled one other energy unit change, which dropped the Finn down the order on the identical weekend that Williams driver Nicholas Latifi additionally took a grid drop.
Whereas Mercedes is awaiting evaluation of the Monza energy unit to seek out out if it may be used once more, workforce boss Toto Wolff conceded that issues had been a bit unsettled in the mean time relating to its engine prospects.
In addition to coping with this season’s plans, Mercedes must be committing to its 2022 challenge when engine specs are totally frozen.
“That is why we’re having a number of balls within the air, as a result of it’s essential have the precise stability between ensuring that you just actually type out all of the gremlins that you’ve within the energy unit, not just for this yr but in addition for subsequent yr’s energy unit,” he stated.
“Undoubtedly, we’re in a part of evaluation on how you can proceed the season when it comes to energy models.”
Talking over the Russian GP weekend, Hamilton stated he was aware of not stressing his present engines an excessive amount of in a bid to attempt to assist the state of affairs.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Sergio Perez, Crimson Bull Racing RB16B
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“In fact I misplaced one engine. Valtteri’s had a number of,” he stated.
“And there is been others that Mercedes have seen up and down the paddock.
“So proper now, I am attempting to deal with my engines, those that we put in, with absolutely the care once I’m driving, when it comes to how a lot I am gassing it, how a lot simply revving the issues, revving the nuts off it, actually attempting to minimise the laps that I do.”
Wolff stated that the Bottas Monza unit can be inspected earlier than the subsequent race in Turkey.
“We need to perceive the engine’s efficiency, and that has given us some query marks,” he defined.
“For the time being we simply take it one race weekend on the time and reassess the efficiency of the facility unit, after which that is it.”
Requested if engine reliability was now Mercedes’ largest concern within the title chase, Wolff stated it was clear that the workforce couldn’t afford a failure in a race.
“It is at all times reliability versus efficiency, it is at all times a nice line that it’s essential get proper,” he stated.
“DNFing, clearly, is a no go for the championship and no one, neither us nor our opponents, can afford a zero factors race weekend.”