Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
4 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
20 days
09 May
Next event in
23 days
23 May
Race in
41 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
55 days
13 Jun
Race in
62 days
27 Jun
Race in
76 days
04 Jul
Next event in
79 days
18 Jul
Race in
97 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
111 days
29 Aug
Race in
139 days
05 Sep
Race in
146 days
26 Sep
Race in
167 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
170 days
10 Oct
Race in
180 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
195 days
31 Oct
Race in
202 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
222 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
244 days

Mercedes: Power unit deficit worth less than 0.1s per lap

Mercedes says its decision to run its Formula 1 power units as conservatively as possible in Abu Dhabi does not explain the gap to Red Bull in Sunday’s race.

Mercedes: Power unit deficit worth less than 0.1s per lap

Team principal Toto Wolff revealed on Saturday that a "gremlin" related to the MGU-K meant all of the Mercedes power units had to be turned down in Abu Dhabi.

Max Verstappen took pole position for Red Bull on Saturday ahead of Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, and was able to comfortably defeat them in the race.

Verstappen mentioned that Mercedes had its power units turned down in the press conference, but neither Bottas nor Hamilton were aware.

Bottas finished more than 15 seconds behind Verstappen at the chequered flag, while Hamilton crossed the line less than two seconds clear of Alexander Albon, who finished fourth in the sister Red Bull car.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained after the race that the power unit setting did not explain such a big gap to the Red Bull's pace, calling its impact "small".

"[It was] not an amount that's going to determine the race result," Shovlin said.

"You're talking significantly less than a tenth of a second, so not the difference between first and second."

Read Also:

Shovlin said the MGU-K issue was "not fully understood yet", and that the decision to run the power units in the conservative mode came through caution.

"I would say that rather than being acutely aware of a specific problem, we are operating the power unit in a way that is as conservative as we can be in order to try and avoid a problem," Shovlin said.

"But when you don't understand exactly the string of issues, all you can do is just be a bit cautious.

"During the race we were trying to reduce the duty marginally, but you're right, the drivers wouldn't have necessarily been aware of it.

"It was just something we were trying to manage in the background."

Mercedes was denied the chance to try and split strategies to pincer Verstappen with its cars by a safety car period early on that forced most teams on to the same strategy.

But Shovlin doubted split strategies would have been enough to beat Red Bull in Abu Dhabi.

"You can do something different, but to be honest, the result would probably be relatively inevitable," Shovlin said.

"Once you have all cars on the same age tyres, it neutralises the racing a bit and there wasn't a lot of opportunity therein.

"If it hadn't been for [the safety car], we would have probably used one car to pull Max in, let the other one go long, try to create a tyre delta.

"Whether it would have resulted in any position gain, looking at their pace, they were very comfortable, so I doubt it."

shares
comments

Related video

Albon feels he has "done everything" to save Red Bull seat

Previous article

Albon feels he has "done everything" to save Red Bull seat

Next article

Codemasters set to be bought by EA for $1.2bn

Codemasters set to be bought by EA for $1.2bn
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi GP
Teams Mercedes
Author Luke Smith
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger Prime

How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger

Max Verstappen lost out to Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix by a tiny margin, slipping off the track just as victory was within his grasp. But the painful lesson from defeat can only help Verstappen come back even stronger

Formula 1
Mar 31, 2021