“They’ve had issues”– Red Bull boss Christian Horner claims Mercedes’ new engine is a forced decision instead of a tactical move.
On Friday, Mercedes announced the installation of a new engine in Lewis Hamilton’s W12, which has made him liable for serving a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday.
UPDATE: @LewisHamilton has taken a new Internal Combustion Engine for this event – his fourth ICE of the season.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) October 8, 2021
Terming it as a strategical move to escape a more significant penalty for the race, Hamilton could manage to start the race from P11 if he ends the qualifying at the pole.
However, calculating the de-merits of the move, Horner thinks that this is a forced hand by Mercedes instead of a tactical move, as Mercedes’ power unit indicates reliable issues.
“I think it was probably from what we understand more of a forced choice rather than a selective choice,” Horner suggested to Sky F1. “So obviously, they’ve had issues with some of their other teams as well.
“It doesn’t affect us and what we’re doing, but it shows how tight and tough it is to get to the end of the season on three engines, that neither of us has managed. So hopefully we can do it on four.”
Anything can happen
Horner hopes that Verstappen gets to finish this season with his fourth power unit of the year to avoid further penalties, as he still believes in the season’s uncertainty.
“You can do all the sims and modelling you like and then something variable happens, there is no such thing as total stability of a situation like you have in a simulated world until the end of the year,” he affirmed.
“So there could be other twists and turns in this, let’s wait and see. But obviously, we have taken a penalty, we got ourselves into a good position, we’ve taken additional parts as well; the battery, the MGU-K, the MGU-H.”
“Lewis has just taken the ICE, the combustion which is less of a penalty, but it’s still going to put a lot of stress on those other components to the end of the year.”