Works teams have advantage in new turbo era - Mercedes
Mercedes is confident it is at a significant advantage this year by having an in-house engine department working closely with its chassis team.
Mercedes is one of three engine suppliers producing power units under the new V6 turbo regulations this year, and supplies four teams in total including its works team. Getting the new power units to run reliably was the key objective of the opening test in Jerez last week, and the Mercedes works team led the way with the most laps completed by the end of the four days.
Mercedes is confident that being able to develop the engine in tandem with the chassis has given its team an advantage this year.
"I think so, yes," managing director of Mercedes High Performance Powertrains Andy Cowell said. "The Mercedes power unit is designed in close collaboration with Bob Bell the technical director [of Mercedes], and has been right from the release of the regulations. Every nut, bolt, washer and cable is designed around this car. That provides an advantage."
Mercedes executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe said working closely with the engine team based in Brixworth had allowed his team to tightly package the rear of the car to maximise downforce.
"That's been one of the big challenges because there's been so much extra equipment to fit in, particularly cooling," he explained. "Bigger hybrid system cooling is required and then the charged air cooling to cover, so everything was pushing towards a bigger package at the rear end. The big area of research was to try to find our way through that to prevent growth. That's where we come into the territory where the combination of effort between the teams at Brackley [chassis] and Brixworth [engine] has been very, very helpful."