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Friday, October 22, 2021

Why ‘uncommon noises’ are inflicting Mercedes an F1 engine headache

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Hamilton will begin from eleventh place at Istanbul Park after Mercedes was compelled into altering the inner combustion engine (ICE) on his energy unit, exceeding the season restrict of three parts.

The cost to pole on Saturday helped Hamilton “restrict the loss” from his penalty that Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff stated it was “clear” needed to be taken at one stage within the remaining races.

However in contrast to Pink Bull, which misplaced one in all its engines on Max Verstappen’s automotive within the crash at Silverstone, Mercedes’ change steered {that a} concern had arisen on the ICE – in spite of everything, none had been misplaced.

Mercedes has seen its earlier energy unit benefit get ebbed away this yr after a big step ahead by Honda for its last F1 season, having fast-tracked its deliberate updates for 2022 to offer Pink Bull a lift within the title combat.

Wolff opened up concerning the situation that had emerged on the engine, saying that when groups “push the boundaries with energy unit efficiency”, it was inevitable that they’d “expertise some obstacles”.

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“Our energy items have been essentially the most dependable for the reason that introduction of the hybrid engines in 2014,” Wolff stated.

“As a result of these boundaries are being pushed, now we have seen examples of, let’s say, uncommon noises, inside the combustion engine that aren’t fully understood at that stage but, and subsequently prompted some bother previously.

“We had engines that mainly failed, and now it’s about containing the issue, as a result of in that section, redesigning components just isn’t one thing you’ll sort out.”

The proximity to the tip of the season and present in-season freeze on energy unit improvement means it isn’t so simple as engaged on a repair and implementing it. The added problem for Mercedes in resolving the difficulty is the incoming energy unit freeze at the beginning of 2022, locking within the engines till the introduction of the subsequent technology of energy items.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

“Balancing efficiency and reliability has at all times been the important thing metric previously couple of years, and will probably be additionally going ahead,” Wolff stated.

“We won’t be carrying any deficits into subsequent yr, as a result of the deficits are being understood. And now it’s about discovering options that include these.”

Hamilton stated after qualifying on Saturday that he thought profitable in Turkey on Sunday can be “very exhausting from eleventh, however not unattainable”, with the very fact the group solely took an ICE and never a full energy unit guaranteeing he was not resigned to a back-of-grid begin. 

“The opposite components just like the turbo or the opposite auxiliary parts are in fantastic form and actually blissful, simply inside the mileage limits,” Wolff stated. “Subsequently we didn’t have to take new elements.”

Hamilton additionally claimed after qualifying that he had been “pushing to hopefully preserve engine quantity three” to keep away from the penalty. Wolff acknowledged that whereas it was nonetheless within the pool and obtainable for Mercedes to make use of via the remainder of the season, it must plan its utilization rigorously.

“The query is how and when will we wish to deploy [engine] quantity three which remains to be within the pool,” Wolff stated.

“That’s one thing we have to assess within the subsequent couple of races. Since you might resolve whether or not to run it solely on Fridays, or additionally run it on Saturday or Sunday.”

He added: “We nonetheless have the third engine to assist with that however we’re not fairly certain how far we wish to push this engine. It’s not essentially solely milage, it’s extra about understanding a distinct reliability subject.”

Containing the engine situation will probably be an extra job for Mercedes to juggle amid the fierce title combat in opposition to Max Verstappen and Pink Bull.

The main focus will probably be on attending to the underside of the difficulty in time for subsequent yr’s engine freeze, in addition to guaranteeing any limitations are managed via the ultimate section of this yr to be able to any additional setbacks.

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