Mercedes Formula 1 team always 'at the edge' with reliability

The Mercedes Formula 1 team says its engine will always be pushed to the limit of reliability, even as rules on power unit use become more restrictive in 2018

Mercedes Formula 1 team always 'at the edge' with reliability

Mercedes produced the most reliable engine in F1 in 2017, with world champion Lewis Hamilton the only Mercedes-powered driver to collect engine grid penalties - and even then only due to a tactical component swap after he crashed out of qualifying in Brazil.

Williams rookie Lance Stroll was forced to revert to an old unit after a failure in practice at the same race, and Valtteri Bottas had to revert to an old engine that failed in Spain, but otherwise there were no major reliability concerns for the Mercedes-engined cars.

F1's 2018 rules will further restrict engine use, by reducing each driver's legal engine limit from four to three for the season.

Drivers will each only get three MGU-Hs and three turbos to use. Use of MGU-Ks, Control Electronics and Energy Stores will be limited to just two per driver over 21 races.

Mercedes engine chief engineer Phil Prew told Autosport his team would still push its 2018 power unit to the edge of reliability limits, because simply turning down the engine to meet the new proscriptions is "not going to win us championships".

"To be honest, we'll always be at the edge because you will always want to push the performance up to the durability of the power unit," he said.

"It's easy to turn down a power unit and find reliability - we don't want that, that's not going to win us championships.

"So we will be busy understanding our current limitations, understanding how we can continue to get more mileage out of the engines, more mileage out of the electrical hybrid systems, so that we can get through next year's championship with the proscribed number of units, not have any penalties on the track, and deliver the level of performance we all know the engine is capable of."

Mercedes made substantial revisions to its F1 engine for 2017, particularly to the hybrid components.

Prew described the team's work on engine reliability as "absolutely endless" and said any revisions to the architecture for 2018 would be made on a "case by case basis".

"We address every limitation - every component of the engine based on what it needs to do," Prew added.

"We're quite constrained by the rules, in terms of capacity on turbos and electrical power etc. - they're all defined within the regulations.

"If it needs to change it will change to achieve reliability and performance; if not then we stick with something we know.

"Really, everything is taken on a case by case basis, but the requirements are very clear."

shares
comments
Pascal Wehrlein F1 Mercedes 'hype' was good for Marcus Ericsson

Previous article

Pascal Wehrlein F1 Mercedes 'hype' was good for Marcus Ericsson

Next article

FIA president Todt suggests 'global engine' for F1 and other series

FIA president Todt suggests 'global engine' for F1 and other series
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021