Retirement for Merc would be ‘catastrophic’

News

Mercedes must juggle performance and reliability for the rest of the season because any retirement would be “catastrophic” for their Formula One title hopes, chief strategist James Vowles said on Thursday.

He added, however, that he was confident recent engine changes, with penalties, for both seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas would pay off in the end.

Hamilton is 12 points behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with five races remaining while Mercedes are 23 points ahead of Red Bull in the constructors’ championship after last Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix.

Hamilton took a 10-place grid penalty in Turkey this month for exceeding his engine allocation for the season, and may have to take another amid lingering concerns about the Mercedes power unit’s reliability.

Bottas has taken three hits already including five places on the grid in Texas, and is now on his sixth engine for the season. Drivers are allowed only three without penalties.

“We are balancing performance versus reliability to the end of the season,” Vowles said in a U.S. Grand Prix video debrief on the team’s YouTube channel.

“One failure to finish a race, be it because of a chassis or power unit fault, would be catastrophic for the championship.

“In the case of Valtteri, that meant taking one further ICE [internal combustion engine] to make sure we had absolutely the best compromise.

“As to whether it improved his performance, yes, a small amount but it is more about the balance across the remainder of the season than one event. So this change, as painful as it was during the Austin Grand Prix, will actually pay dividends across the next few races.”

Verstappen won in Austin, the Dutch driver celebrating his eighth win in 17 races.

Hamilton, the sport’s most successful driver of all time, has won five races so far this year.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

The EX90 will arrive as Volvo’s first EV with bi-directional charging and the ability to power your home
F1 budget cap verdict pushed back to Monday
XPeng Electric Car Sales Decreased In September 2022
Florida’s Hurricane Ian Takes Out A McLaren P1 Just One Week After Being Purchased
New York expedites efforts to ban the sale of new gas cars by 2035

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.