“We have question marks”– Mercedes is concerned about the new power unit after only sole appearance, raising suspicions.
Mercedes raised eyebrows when Valtteri Bottas was declared to take a new power unit in Sochi, a race after taking his last new engine. Many viewed this engine change as a ploy to slow Max Verstappen in the lower half of the grid.
VALTTERI BOTTAS I AM WHEEZING pic.twitter.com/eDkB9Yo1L2
— em hates the RussianGP 🇷🇺 (@landonor4) September 26, 2021
However, Bottas claimed that it was done so that he managed to finish their race, as issues were starting to rise in the last engine after the Italian Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff now insists that it was a necessary change instead of a tactic, and currently, the power unit is being examined, and an evaluation will be made.
“Yes, at the moment we are reassessing the performance of the power units, because we have question marks and therefore haven’t decided which engines would go back into the pool,” Wolff commented.
“We haven’t only made precautionary engine changes because we felt we want to stockpile, but also because we want to understand the engine’s performance, and that has given us given us some question marks.
“At the moment we just take one race weekend at a time and reassess the performance of the power units, and then take decisions.”
Delivery to headquarters
Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin has also revealed that the power unit used by his team in Monza has been sent back to the headquarters for further investigations.
“We had another problem with that during the weekend,” he said. “That power unit we need to do further investigation on and just have a look at it back at Brixworth.”
At this stage, Mercedes must know whether they can afford to run with the last engine pool as the fight with Red Bull for the championship is more intense than ever.