Mercedes admits there are ‘issues’ with Lewis Hamilton’s engine, while Red Bull hopes for a punishment.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ CEO, admits there are some concerns about Lewis Hamilton’s engines.
Toto Wolff, the CEO of Mercedes, has expressed worries over Lewis Hamilton’s engine, citing issues for the final seven races of the Formula One season.
When his teammate Valtteri Bottas received back-to-back grid penalties in Italy and Russia, questions were raised, as Mercedes made the surprising decision to add a fifth power unit ahead of the race in Sochi.
Despite worries over Hamilton’s use of the three authorized engines, he has yet to receive any penalties for engine swaps, with Red Bull saying he may choose to take a grid penalty in order to make a fourth move.
“I think we haven’t only done the conservative engine change because we felt we needed to stockpile, but also because we want to understand the engine’s performance – and that has given us some question marks,” Wolff said when asked why they chose a fifth power unit for Bottas.
“We’re simply taking it one race weekend at a time – and [then]we’ll analyze the performance of the power units and then make judgments,” Wolff said when asked directly about the question marks.
“At the moment, we’re reevaluating the performance of the power units since we have certain concerns, therefore we haven’t decided which engines will be returned to the pool.”
Formula One has imposed a blanket freeze on engine development for the years 2022-2024, with the design being fixed until at least 2025, causing further headaches for teams this season.
“That’s why we’ve got a few balls in the air,” Wolff continued, “because you have to strike the correct balance between making sure you actually sort out all the gremlins that you have in the power unit, not just for this year but also for next year’s power unit.”
“So we’re obviously in a process of evaluating how to continue this season in terms of power units,” he says.
Red Bull CEO Christian Horner, on the other hand, believes Hamilton will have to adjust his strategy this season, giving Max Verstappen an advantage by forcing the seven-time world champion to start from the rear of the grid.
“We don’t have access to that type of information,” Horner stated after the race in Russia.
“However, [with]“Brinkwire Summary News,” you’d think that.”