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Hamilton to have 'rocket' engine for Jeddah

NEWS STORY
23/11/2021

At next weekend's Saudi GP, Lewis Hamilton will have the 'rocket' engine he used to such devastating effect in Brazil.

At the start of the Interlagos weekend, following days of speculation, it was confirmed that the world champion would take a 5-place grid penalty after taking on a new ICE.

While, the Sao Paulo circuit is one that encourages overtaking, there were fears that the move could backfire as the high altitude and track characteristics actually favoured the Red Bull-Honda package.

However, despite the various penalties incurred over the course of the weekend, the Briton delivered two masterclasses going on to win the Grand Prix and close the gap to his title rival.

Questioning the sheer speed of Hamilton's car, Christian Horner, described the power unit as a "rocket", while Sergio Perez said it was from a different planet.

The bad news for Red Bull and Max Verstappen is that the power unit will be in the back of Hamilton's W12 for next weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

"We've seen pretty big swings of performance over the recent races," Mercedes trackside engineer, Andrew Shovlin told Sky Sports, "but if we look at the track in Saudi, I think it should suit us.

"For Lewis, we have got the more powerful engine to go in the car, so that's going to give him a useful engine," he added.

Horner claimed that at the end of the main straight in Mexico, Hamilton's speed was 14 km/h quicker. However, a week later, with the new unit, the Red Bull boss claimed that the Mercedes was 27 km/h quicker than Lando Norris when he passed the McLaren.

"It's something that we're going to keep an eye on," said Horner, "because, particularly with Lewis today, that was just a different league."

In Qatar the speed differential wasn't so great, with Mercedes suggesting that Red Bull had found some pace, a claim the Austrian denied.

However, Shovlin reveals that due to the nature of the Losail track Mercedes saw no benefit in running the new engine.

"There are two that we are racing," he said. "Here we had the less powerful of the two in the car, due to the nature of the circuit. So that side of it is in a good place at the moment.

"We're always cautious to go to a race thinking that it's all going to go our way," Shovlin admitted. "What we do know though are the things we've got to get right on the set-up, what we need to get right on the tyres and how they're working, and that's what we're going to be busy doing over the next few days, making sure we're taking every possible opportunity to arrive there in good shape.

"With a new circuit, arriving in good shape is such a big thing from the learning curve, if you've got a good car to start with, you can just improve it from there."

"In Saudi it should be a good track for us," Toto Wolff subsequently told Sky Sports, "but we know this year, when we think it is a good one, it can turn the other way around.

"But it is long straights and we will get our spicy equipment out, the engine, for Saudi Arabia," he smiled.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 24/11/2021 10:32

"@ Spindoctor...where's 'Bellingcat' when we need them?"

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

2. Posted by kenji, 24/11/2021 10:31

"@ Spindoctor...what I'd like to know is this....are 'spicy' engines avaiable to Williams, McL and Aston Martin? Are they more expensive so as to cover the costs of additional 'spice'. So much that we don't know about....and probably never will. Hint for those who aspire to some covert hacking....."

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

3. Posted by kenji, 24/11/2021 0:07

"@ Spindoctor...I'm sure that Honda would have common thread engineers on the ground at both teams. That is understandable as RB and AT are owned by the same common entity/shareholder, a fact that is not hidden. AM, McL. and Williams are completely separate entries with no common shareholding and they are, supposedly, totally independent. The laws under which F1 operate are, I believe laid down and administered under EU dictates so I'd be 99.9% certain that they do operated legally but that doesn't alter in any way the appearances of a degree of collusion to the outside spectator. The actions undertaken by Wolff recently where he admonished Russell, [a driver contracted to Williams] for taking out Bottas is a clear and concise example of what I would deem unacceptable. Williams is supposed to be an independent F1 racing entity and here they are submitting to driver controls by another 'supposed' competitor...who just happens to supply them with PU's?."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 23/11/2021 15:29

"What's the line on Hamilton for Pole or winning on Sunday? "

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 23/11/2021 15:16

"@kenji
Point taken about Mercedes, but I think I've spotted the odd Honda Techie hanging around RBR & Torro Rosso\Alphatauri. I rather suspect they're doing much the same as Merc's engineers. Honda only supplies RBR & satellite team, but the point is still valid..."

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

6. Posted by kenji, 23/11/2021 14:01

"@JCR...Well spotted.The attempt to provide some relief from the discrimination between teams via the 'cost cap' it rather makes a mockery of it all when there is, apparently, no cost cap on PU's. That means that the manu teams can dip into their own supplies, at cost, whereas customers have to pay a customer cost which would include a premium/profit margin. One other point that I am rather fixated on is that Mercedes, for example, provide trackside engineers that are embedded into the customer teams!!!If you just think about that for a while and consider that the manu/supplier/competitor controls your prime source of power together with knowledge of all the engineering expertise ref installation and peripherals that you, the competitor, have undertaken. Surely that amounts to a one way street.....
"

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7. Posted by jcr, 23/11/2021 10:26

"I repeat myself !!
Merc this week highlighted stupid regs.
Sir Hammi had new engine and penalty for Brazil.
Took it out and used older engine for Qatar.
So they did not need xtra engine.
Brazil engine goes back in for Saudi.
I thought engines limits were there to keep cost down,
This way richer teams can put in new engine for every race"

+Totally agree with Kenji,s comment !"

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8. Posted by kenji, 23/11/2021 10:21

"Irrespective of what this special engine can or cannot do my question is this....do all Mercedes customers get the very same 'spicy' engine and accompanying modes to run in Jeddah as the manu/team? If not why not? Are the teams guaranteed to get the exact same spec as the manu/team and if not why not?"

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9. Posted by Mad Matt, 23/11/2021 9:25

"Christian Horner's claims don't seem to be consistent with what I saw here https://f1i.com/news/424702-interlagos-speed-trap-who-is-the-fastest-of-them-all.html

I think that's from the Sprint race but while Lewis was fastest in one area he wasn't that much fast than the others and Lando was faster on the start/finish straight.

Max was quite slow and there were a lot of divers faster than him which suggests a down force difference.

I'm sure Lewis's engine is giving an advantage but I'm not convinced it's as big as Red Bull would have us believe."

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