Mercedes has so far only replaced the combustion engine and the exhaust of Lewis Hamilton before the start of the Turkish Grand Prix. For example, the hybrid systems were left untouched. Why?
During the first free practice session, the FIA announced that Mercedes had replaced Lewis Hamilton’s combustion engine, as well as the exhaust. It is his fourth combustion engine and so he faces a grid penalty of ten places. It therefore does not have to start from the rear, which would have been the case if all engine parts had been replaced.
Mercedes’ track side engineering director Andrew Shovlin moors Sky Sports F1 explains why the entire power unit was not replaced: “We simulate all races until the end of the season where we check the risk of a reliability problem during a race. After all, if something breaks, you still have to replace that part afterwards.” Apparently it has come out that several parts are still fine.
“The other element is the performance element. Engines lose some power over their lifetime. That ten-place grid penalty eliminates the reliability risk, while the combustion engine takes care of the performance. It’s better to start ten places further back than from the very back. ”
Shovlin says he doesn’t expect any more parts to be swapped over the weekend: “That’s unlikely, if only because it’s quite drastic to swap parts like this over a weekend. We are therefore happy with our current decision, where we’ll probably keep up.”
Incidentally, Mercedes is not too worried about Sunday. They have chosen a circuit that they think is very possible to overtake: “This is a circuit where Lewis drove a great overtaking race in GP2 in 2006. He feels that there are opportunities here (to overtake, ed.), so we can get us ready for an exciting Sunday.”
Whether they do not regret the substitution, after Hamilton showed himself quickly in the first practice? “Those are the consequences, aren’t they? It would make it easier to make up ground. Could Hamilton have won from pole position? That’s one of the considerations you make, but it is what it is. We just have to get the most out of it.” from our start from a little further back and hopefully we even see a chance to win.”