Lewis Hamilton took a brand new factor in his engine and dropped 10 locations on the grid on the Turkish GP, Mercedes will not rule out a fifth Energy Unit relying on factors battle towards Max Verstappen; six races to go in 2021, beginning with United States GP
Final Up to date: 14/10/21 6:12am
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has defined the reliability issues that led to Lewis Hamilton taking a brand new engine on the Turkish GP, and isn’t ruling out one other swap and grid penalty earlier than the tip of the season.
Hamilton took a brand new Inside Combustion Engine (ICE) finally weekend’s race, dropping him 10 locations on the grid after topping qualifying. He ultimately got here again to complete fifth, though misplaced his championship result in Max Verstappen, who he now trails by six factors with simply six races to go.
The Englishman had beforehand spoken of his hope of attending to the tip of the season with no new engine however Wolff insisted the choice in Istanbul was not a tactical one.
“We needed to do it,” the group boss informed Sky Sports activities F1. “We noticed some information on the Inside Combustion unit that did not look very promising and a DNF is a complete killer for the championship.”
Wolff added: “We have seen over the course of the season that we have had some little gremlins that we weren’t fully certain the place they got here from and the way a lot efficiency they may probably value.
“So we would somewhat have a brand new engine within the pool and that we perceive that may probably go longer.”
Wolff additionally admitted there have been some “uncommon noises” coming from Hamilton’s engine earlier than the change, and mentioned Mercedes, who’ve been king of velocity and reliability within the hybrid period, “are analysing how we will stop it sooner or later.”
“I feel we perceive significantly better now the place the foundation trigger lies and it is one thing that may occur once in a while in case you simply have a fabric concern, a batch drawback and these are the issues you want to take into account,” defined Wolff.
Hamilton’s new ICE was his fourth of the season, yet one more than is permitted within the rules. However Wolff additionally refused to rule out his lead driver taking a fifth Energy Unit – simply as Valtteri Bottas has carried out within the different Mercedes – relying on how the factors battle with Max Verstappen and Purple Bull goes.
“It [fourth ICE] can final till the tip of the season however there could possibly be a second the place we are saying is it value taking a recent one as a result of the opposite one remains to be in danger,” mentioned Wolff
“So that is one thing that’s going to be actually a piece in progress.”
Requested by Sky F1 once more earlier than the Turkish GP, Wolff mentioned: “It is seven powerful races forward of us. Let’s examine how the factors pan out. I might by no means say no however usually 4 engines appears to be like fairly ample.”
Talking after the race on Sunday, Hamilton mentioned he “wasn’t giving any power” to engine issues and the opportunity of needing a fifth.
The championship battle continues at the USA GP, reside on Sky Sports activities F1 on October 22-24.