“It is a job you only want to do in the factory”– Mercedes flew back all the engines to Brixworth after the Russian GP to examine them in detail.
Mercedes learned that Valterri Bottas’ fourth engine, which had been installed at the Italian GP, can no longer be used, so the Silver Arrows had to change several power unit parts in Bottas’ W12 for the Russian Grand Prix race.
Despite this, it is being reported that Bottas will be using the fresh Sochi engine and may get a new unit for a later race. This development is also why Mercedes decided to handle Lewis Hamilton’s new engine with such precaution, having only changed the Internal Combustion Engine for the Turkish GP.
The British driver’s new ICE was combined with components of older power units. This change has resulted in only a 10 spot grid penalty for Hamilton instead of the expected 20 place penalty, which usually comes with a complete power unit change.
Talking about the level of difficulty a task such as this entails, a Mercedes engineer said to AMuS: “It is a job you only want to do in the factory because it’s so complex.”
They further went on to explain that work like this on a power unit is not very common. “We’ve only mixed components of different power units at the track once in the past seven years.”
#AMuS Mercedes flew all the engines back to England after the Russian GP, where they were examined in detail at Brixworth. It was determined that Bottas’ PU4, which had been replaced in Sochi after Friday practice as a precaution, can no longer be used.
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) October 8, 2021
Is Mercedes giving a boost to Red Bull?
Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen have been engaged in a tight battle for the driver’s championship ever since the season kicked off. They have given fans some memorable scraps nearly every time they come close to each other on track.
Verstappen started the Sochi GP at the back of the grid after a complete PU change but still managed to finish the race in second place behind Hamilton after putting in some frenetic laps at the end of the race, which was upturned by the rain.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to replicate a similar performance this week at Turkey with the new ICE and the resulting 10 spot penalty.