Mercedes “losing a little bit” with engine derating issue at Bahrain GP

Mercedes has revealed that its deficit to Red Bull at the Bahrain Grand Prix is not being helped by engine derating issues around the Sakhir track.

Mercedes “losing a little bit” with engine derating issue at Bahrain GP

While the team is well aware that its chassis is not performing as it would like against its main Formula 1 rival, it is also facing headaches in getting on top of its energy recovery systems for the season opener.

Team boss Toto Wolff reckoned that Mercedes was losing out to Honda in terms of its derating – which is when the engine boost that comes from its energy recovery systems runs out at the end of the straights.

Speaking about where Mercedes was losing time to Red Bull, Wolff said: “I think we're losing on the high speed [corners]. We can clearly see there's a deficit.

“We're losing a little bit on the engine side in terms of derate. We are not yet in a happy place with our energy recovery, but it's not one thing we point to where we can say this is the big gap.”

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, and James Allison, Technical Director, Mercedes AMG

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, and James Allison, Technical Director, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

The strong form of both Red Bull and AlphaTauri in Bahrain this weekend indicates that its engine supplier Honda has made good gains with its new 2021 power unit.

Wolff said he was confident, however, that Mercedes would get on top of its power unit issues.

“Honda has done a great job,” he said. “They delivered the power unit which is extremely competitive. Look at where AlphaTauri is. And we just have to take it as sportsmen.

“You just have to say when they've done a really good job, full stop. There's just no one-off solution then to recover. And I believe that on the derates that you see, it is something that we have to get on top of. That is not easy, but we'll get there.”

Asked if was surprised that Honda had put such an effort in to a new engine for its final season in F1, Wolff said: “Am I surprised? No I'm actually not at all surprised.

“I think Honda is a very proud company and I was convinced that they would give all the power to have a great power unit in the final year as a works team.

“I think they left no stone unturned, and no resource unutilised to finish the job properly. So it's good motivation for us and I'm happy for them.”

shares
comments

Related video

New aero regulations cost low-rake cars 1s per lap - Aston Martin

Previous article

New aero regulations cost low-rake cars 1s per lap - Aston Martin

Next article

"Strange" feeling on medium tyres cost Tsunoda Q3 place in Bahrain

"Strange" feeling on medium tyres cost Tsunoda Q3 place in Bahrain
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021