Mercedes has made a number of improvements to its Formula 1 power unit over the winter but is “fighting a few little issues” as it prepares for pre-season testing.
The offseason is a key time for power unit development as teams are limited in the number of components they can use during a season. Only two upgrades to the internal combustion engine, turbocharger and MGU-H are possible before penalties are handed out, but development is unrestricted with the launch specification, and Andy Cowell — who is managing director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) — says there are still problems to resolve ahead of the launch of the W11 next Friday.
“(There’s) lots going on in Brixworth, lots of improvements across the whole power unit on the ERS side, on the internal combustion engine side,” Cowell said. “As ever we are fighting a few little issues as we pull everything together.
“So, lot’s of work going into building the right spec, getting it long run (on the engine dyno) and then providing the power units to the (customer) teams so that they can fire up their cars and then getting the hardware to go track testing for the car launch on February 14. And then off to Barcelona with three cars hopefully pounding ’round the track. Just six days of track testing, though, before we’re off to Melbourne.
“And with the race pool, a huge number of those parts are already made, assemblies going together and (we’ve got) the challenge of getting everything to the other side of the world. So, a busy time chasing bits of performance, getting the reliability there and getting a huge amount of hardware together and getting it to the other side of the world.”
As well as the works team, Mercedes currently supplies both Racing Point and Williams with power units, so HPP will receive data from three cars during pre-season testing in Barcelona.