Site logo

Mercedes ponders further penalty for Hamilton

NEWS STORY
23/10/2021

As Valtteri Bottas takes another grid penalty, Toto Wolff admits that fears over reliability have left Mercedes pondering the prospect of risking a similar move for Lewis Hamilton.

Having taken on a new ICE, though only incurring a 5-place drop, Bottas incurs a grid penalty for the third time in his last four outings.

Hamilton took a 10-place drop last time out in Turkey, but at a time there is increasing concern over the reliability of the "durability" of the German power unit, such is the fear of a DNF for the seven-time champion that Mercedes is considering its options.

"You can see that we are suffering with reliability this year," said Wolff, "we're going onto the sixth engine for Valtteri.

"It is not something we choose to do," he added, "but on the contrary; we are trying to really get on top of the problems, and we haven't understood fully."

Asked about the probability of Hamilton taking a similar hit, the Austrian responded: "I can't say whether we will be taking one and what the percentage is, but obviously the risk is still there.

"What is difficult to evaluate is do you want to pre-empt the situation and take another penalty and take the hit or do you want to really run it and possibly risk a DNF," he continued, "that is a discussion that is happening as we speak, and we haven't come to the right answers yet."

The new ICE for Bottas is his sixth of the season, while fellow Mercedes-powered drivers, Sebastian Vettel and George Russell are also taking on new components this weekend.

Asked to define the issue, Wolff replied: "I wouldn't want to disclose what it is for obvious reasons, but it is always a concern.

"When we look at Monza, for example, Valtteri, had to start from the back, and we are losing points on the way," he added, "I would have hoped for less penalties and used less engines but this year it's really hit us hard. McLaren and Aston Martin were more fortunate and in that respect, we have to take it on the chin and do the best possible job.

"We are trying to push the performance every year and this year we've come to a point where that has cost us points," he admitted. "But over the last seven or eight years that mind-set has won us races and championships."

Asked if, despite all else, Mercedes is in a comfortable position in terms of an eighth constructors' title, he said: "Well, comfortable is the wrong word. But I think a little bit of a bigger gap would be solid, but also that could go very much to the end and it's an important championship for us as Mercedes."

Check out our Saturday gallery from COTA, here.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by NS Biker, 23/10/2021 20:19

"Yes, the essence of malodorous deceased aquatic reptiles is hanging in the air.
One could wonder if this is fall-out from the removal of engine modes or more specifically, the use of a single mode for all running, Q1 and beyond.
I recall Stroll once got caught out running a high power mode in a practice session, by accident, and had to limit his race and Q sessions to compensate.
Engine, sorry, Power Unit Suppliers are required to provide the same hardware and same power controls to all teams. Even so there may be subtle differences between them, cooling, transmission controls, throttle response and mapping. It does appear that the Merc customer teams are also taking on new components at a brisk rate.
Hmmmm what's that smell.??"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Superbird70, 23/10/2021 17:17

"Maybe there is a cost /benefit advantage to replacing the engine? The power advantage gained might outway any grid penalty if they play the right tire strategy."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 23/10/2021 14:40

"What I don't understand is how come AM and Mclaren aren't also having such 'reliability' problems when they supposedly have identical PU's? Something smells here and it ain't dead fish....."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2022. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms