On the weekend of Istanbul Park la Mercedes decided to mount a new internal combustion engine (ICE) on Lewis Hamilton’s car, the fourth of the season, and therefore to serve a penalty of ten places on the starting grid. The comeback of the English champion – from the eleventh box to the start – stopped in fifth place, thanks to the conditions of the track, wet for the entire race, the absence of the DRS and the difficult assessment of the wear of the Intermediate tires. . And so Hamilton was once again overtaken in the standings by Max Verstappen, who is now six points ahead of him.
Toto Wolff, team principal, managing director and co-owner of the Mercedes team, in recent days admitted that the world championship challenge forced the black-clad Silver Arrows to exploit their power units to the limit, thus generating unexpected reliability problems. The Austrian manager spoke of “strange noises coming from the combustion engine”Still not fully understood and therefore still causing some headaches for the engineers working in the Brixworth power unit department. These concerns have thus led to the replacement of the ICE in Hamilton: “It wasn’t a tactical decision, we found some unpromising parameters coming from the internal combustion engine and a retirement in the race would be a killer for our championship“.
Wolff assured that the team is working to solve the reliability problems, but nodid not rule out the need to use a new ICE and having to serve another ten penalty positions on the starting grid of one of the next six events: “The fourth element could last until the end of the season, but there may even come a time when we think it might be worth fitting a new ICE, because we consider the one used to be at risk. This is something we will evaluate as we go along“, Explained the Austrian to Sky Sport Uk.