Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas think they can finish the rest of the season with the bikes they currently have in their pool. The two gentlemen emphasize that there is no certainty, but that it looks good.
Mercedes has been known as the most reliable engine manufacturer in recent years. There were never any major reliability problems, so the drivers almost never had to deal with problems such as popping engines. This year, however, the German racing stable has had to upgrade its engines considerably, because of the title battle with Red Bull Racing. As a result, the Mercedes power unit has suddenly become a lot less reliable.
According to Formula 1 regulations, a driver may use a maximum of 3 combustion engines this season. If this number is exceeded, a grid penalty will automatically follow. However, Bottas has already used six internal combustion engines this season, and has also exceeded the permitted number of turbochargers, MGU-H and MGU-K. As a result, the Finn has already had to take a grid penalty several times. Still, he hopes that the bad luck is now over. “The team has worked very hard on this. I think we know better and better what is going on and how we can prevent certain things. I keep my fingers crossed that I don’t have to get motor grid penalties anymore.”
Fifth engine for Hamilton?
Hamilton has used four different combustion engines to date and has therefore already had to take a grid penalty once. Red Bull Racing’s competitors are convinced that Hamilton will need a fifth engine, but the Briton himself knows nothing about it. “I believe our engines are strong. As far as I know, hopefully we will continue [with these engines] until the end. Yes, hopefully that won’t be a problem for us,” said Hamilton.