In response to the reliability issues with the Formula 1 test in Barcelona, Mercedes has introduced a number of countermeasures for its racing engine, as ‘Motorsport-Total.com’ knows. The manufacturer suffered five defects in six test days, which hit the Williams customer team in addition to the factory team.
World champion Lewis Hamilton admitted at the end of the test that the team was not particularly happy with the situation they were in. “Is that a problem? Yes. Certainly,” he said of the engine damage. “We usually have a lot more confidence in reliability in the pre-season, so it wasn’t perfect.”
Mercedes flew the affected drive units back to its engine headquarters in Brixworth for a detailed analysis in order to investigate the causes of the defects. With success, because the engineers understood what happened.
The failures in the first week of testing, in which Mercedes changed engines before the last day of operation, were due to cooling problems with the MGU-H. Up until the second test, optimizations were made to fix this specific problem, which did not repeat itself afterwards.
The defects in the second test were caused by two bearing damage. Mercedes has taken appropriate countermeasures for its Spec-1 engine, which will be used at the weekend of the Australian Grand Prix.
Despite the test problems, the manufacturer did not have to withdraw the engine specification. They are also confident that they will continue to be able to handle the various engine modes aggressively in the future without jeopardizing their reliability. Toto Wolff agrees that the defects were already evident in the test.
Before the first race in Australia, the Mercedes team boss said: “We are glad that we encountered these problems during testing and not on a race weekend as we were able to work on fixing them without any penalties.”