Mercedes' F1 customer teams get engine equality for Melbourne

Mercedes has assured its customers they will receive its latest spec of Formula 1 power unit ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix

Mercedes' F1 customer teams get engine equality for Melbourne

Last season Mercedes produced an upgraded system ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, primarily as it explored a new developmental direction, as well as to help validate the use of a new fuel from supplier Petronas.

Its 2015 customer teams Williams, Force India and Lotus were denied the opportunity to run the updated engine over the closing races of the campaign due to Mercedes' limited resources at the time.

But Williams, Force India and new Mercedes runner Manor Racing will get the up-to-date engine from the outset in 2016.

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains managing director Andy Cowell said: "The upgrade that we introduced in Monza last year took a huge amount of effort from the factory at Brixworth, and we only had enough resource to supply the works team with the latest spec at that time.

"However, that is now paying off for every team with Mercedes power as we've managed to build on that development work through the autumn and winter period.

"Now, all our customers are getting an improved package that is exactly the same specification as the works team.

"All eight Mercedes powered cars will have exactly the same hardware and performance potential come Melbourne, which is a good step for everyone."

Mercedes has also confirmed it is refusing to take the allowance this season of an additional engine for granted.

Last year each driver could run a maximum of four power units, with the use of anything over and above that leading to grid penalties.

This season, with two extra races as the F1 calendar expands from 19 grands prix to a record-breaking 21, each driver is allowed five engines.

Despite that, Mercedes is still working as if it were only allowed four to ensure it can cover for any unforeseen issues that may arise over the course of the season.

"On the face of it, an increased allocation of power units would seem to give manufacturers an advantage in that each unit is required to complete fewer races, thereby putting less pressure on the life cycle of different components," said Cowell.

"But the reality is our durability targets have remained the same. Our target is to make sure that each power unit can last for at least five races, meaning that theoretically we only need to use four per driver, across the season.

"We believe this gives us a good opportunity to react if we have a reliability problem, or potentially to use the extra units to our advantage for a performance enhancement at key races."

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Mercedes F1 car will be nearly in Melbourne spec when tests start

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