“We go through it race by race”– Toto Wolff claims that Lewis Hamilton will get his next engine change spontaneously in the remaining races.
Lewis Hamilton is due to take his fourth engine of the season, but Mercedes is yet to mark a date on the change. But he will have to serve a grid penalty whenever he is taking, which could help Max Verstappen clear off his small deficit against the Briton.
Talking about whether Mercedes is planning to spot a Grand Prix where Hamilton would be taking the new engine, Wolff replied that the decision would be spontaneous.
“At the moment, we go through it race by race and see how the performance and durability of the engine develops,” the Mercedes team principal told RTL.
“If we do switch power units, it will happen spontaneously. We would have just as much of a disadvantage as Red Bull had at Sochi.”
The engine quandary
During the Russian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas taking a new engine raised eyeballs, as in Monza only, he took a new engine. Mercedes later revealed that they are having some issues with the engine, and the engine Bottas used in Monza is under investigation.
That’s why it is tough for Wolff to give a definite date for Hamilton’s engine change amidst the reliability issues, and the Silver Arrows aim to end it as soon as possible.
“At the moment, we need to be able to solve all the problems we have found on the engine not only for this year but also for next year,” said Wolff. “We are at a stage where we are considering how to continue the season in terms of the power unit.
“We want to understand how to get more performance from the engine, and this has given us some headaches. You always have to find the right balance between performance and reliability.
“Obviously risking a retirement would be absolutely not good for the championship and neither we nor our rivals can afford to pick up zero points from a weekend.”