Mercedes has yet to decide whether it will have a power unit upgrade at this weekend’s French Grand Prix or take a fresh version of its previous specification.
While originally intending to introduce its updated power unit in Canada two weeks ago, Mercedes delayed the new engine due to what it described as “a quality issue.” At the time, the team said all Mercedes-powered cars would receive the update in France, but there remains doubt over whether it will be introduced this weekend. If not, Mercedes will still take a new engine but be left with its previous specification for the next cycle of races.
“At the moment I don’t know,” Lewis Hamilton said on whether he would receive the upgrade. “Actually I think I might have one of my new engines. Which is good enough. The engine I have used for the first seven races has been a great engine and this fresher new version of that is going to be great. Have more power than the one I raced at the last race. I think tomorrow or over the next few days we might have a better understanding…
“Power isn’t really an issue for us. We’ve been at the forefront for years in terms of engine development with the best team of guys back in. We got the best team. They have delivered year upon year upon year. We are the most successful of this whole era. We are still competing at the front end.
“I call them perfect all the time but we are always striving to be better — and be the leaders. The others have caught up and it’s taken them time to catch up — but there are still some who haven’t caught up. There’s only one team who have really caught up — and even for them it’s still a push.
“We are continuing to push as hard as we can. There are a lot of real positive developments coming through for the future. Until then, we will keep our heads down and make the best of what we have.”
After losing the championship lead to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in Canada, Hamilton admits he has been trying to find out the latest from Mercedes High Performance Powertrains boss Andy Cowell ahead of the race at Paul Ricard. However, the Briton insists he is unconcerned if he has to do the next set of races with the same specification of power unit.
“It is all about tiny margins. Let’s just wait and see. At the moment going into this weekend I’ve been on the phone to Andy this week, I have absolute full confidence in him and the guys. Let’s just see.
“I don’t want to say too much at the moment because I don’t know what Andy’s planning at the moment but I trust whatever decision these guys make will be for the right reasons. We’ve done the seven races with great power and great performance until now so if we are to take the old spec I’m not worried about it.”