Lewis Hamilton easily won the Qatar Grand Prix, but it is remarkable that the Briton did this without using his latest engine. The power source that he received in Brazil will be saved for the last two races of the season, team boss Toto Wolff reveals.
Hamilton was already fitted with its fifth engine during the Brazil race weekend, allowing Mercedes to fully open the power without running too great a risk of reliability problems or damage. Many assumed that Hamilton also drove this engine in Qatar, but that turns out not to be the case. The reigning world champion drove an ‘old’ engine in Doha, Wolff said. The most new power unit will be saved for the last two races of the season, so that Hamilton can use all resources to fight for a new world title.
In conversation with Sky Deutschland, Wolff is asked which rear wing he is taking to Saudi Arabia. A relevant question, as Mercedes has recently received a lot of criticism for its wing. Wolff therefore has an appropriate answer. “A small one. Maybe we don’t put a rear wing on it at all,” he winks. However, the conversation only really gets interesting when it comes to Hamilton’s power source. It turns out that the new engine has not been used at all in Qatar.
“No, in Saudi Arabia we pull the pin out of the grenade. We also need that fire there and in Abu Dhabi,” Wolff reveals. And especially in that last race, the team boss expects his driver to need all the available power. “If they (Hamilton and Verstappen) both cross the finish line in Saudi Arabia, then the Abu Dhabi winner will also be the winner of the championship,” he said.