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McLaren unconcerned by Mercedes engine reliability

NEWS STORY
24/01/2022

McLaren boss, Zak Brown has denied that his team is concerned by Mercedes engine reliability.

While there is no doubt that strategy was a factor, the fact is that all three customer teams exceeded their allowance last season, thereby incurring penalties, whilst works drivers, Lewis Hamilton (5) and Valtteri Bottas (6) used more internal combustion engines than anyone else.

Fact is, with Honda giving the German manufacturer a run for its money, Mercedes was forced to pull out all the stops.

However, looking ahead to the new season, Zak Brown dismisses talk that there is concern over the Mercedes power unit's reliability in the coming campaign.

"They're feeling good about their development," he said, according to Motorsport.com. "Fortunately, we had good reliability last year.

"As you know, there's more than just the power unit that goes into the reliability," he added. "Our guys did a good job of working with the power unit in year one, so reliability hasn't been maybe the same level of concern for us that it has with others."

Nonetheless, with an engine freeze now in place, the American has discussed the issue with Toto Wolff.

"He was pretty bullish," he revealed. "I think the power unit race is as close as ever. But I'm not worried about it."

"We were pushed very hard in 2019 and came with a power unit in 2020 that was right there, but maybe it stretched us too much," admitted Wolff at the end of last season.

"If you are in the constant pursuit of performance, sometimes reliability falls behind and I guess this is what happened."

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1. Posted by Defiant, 28/01/2022 0:10

"@kenji. Yes, I think you make a good point. Wouldn't that be an interesting topic to follow up on. I'm curious to know if the development and service of the newer engines really is cheaper than what we had previously. "

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2. Posted by kenji, 25/01/2022 23:45

"@ Defiant...I do believe that the original concept of reduced number of engines in any one season was instigated due to the 'exorbitant' cost per each plus the support costs. Many times I have tried to find out just what this 'exorbitant' actually means but no one has ever been able to provide any actual figures! Nothing is relative unless you have a baseline for comparison and F1 manus never ever let the true costs be seen in the public arena. Why is that? It's been touted that the MGU-H is the most costly part but what does that mean in actual terms? Would love to see some real costs...and an explanation supporting them. Original R & D would've/ should've been fully amortised by now?"

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3. Posted by Defiant, 25/01/2022 18:24

"I understand the idea behind the amount of engines permitted, but I sure do miss the days of the engines being pushed to the extremes throughout the season, especially during the races. Having the failing engines as part of the peril of the sport was a large "what if" always hanging over the heads.
I know this won't happen again, but imagine the development and performance gains that would happen if it did."

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4. Posted by kenji, 25/01/2022 0:57

"This is what I find unacceptable in F1.Zak Brown discussing the future of their engines with Wolff...a major competitor and supplier of the same engine. There should be step between them. There is no suggestion of collusion, in fact exactly the opposite. The whole area needs to be carefully examined. AFAIK McLaren whilst running the Mercedes PU and pay heavily for that never actually own the engines. The fact that Mercedes have their own personnel embedded in the teams of customers/competitors seems to be totally wrong. They surely must observe certain activities and installations that they would never normally have if it was a true 'competitive' situation. Those same embedded Mercedes employees also control the in race engine parameters and not the Team members. I cannot profess to know if that latter statement is in fact 100%...but up until a few years ago it certainly was. Others here may know more and can possibly correct me if I have made any errors here in my post."

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5. Posted by JamesD, 24/01/2022 17:16

"Word on the grapevine at Brixworth is that the ICU issues encountered last year have been fixed."

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6. Posted by Endre, 24/01/2022 16:13

"Not surprised they are unconcerned since they used their engines within their designed operating parameters.

It was only the Mercedes team having issues with their own engines as they took advantage of a very weak penalty system for taking on additional engines and thus completely undermined the spirit of the regulations.

F1 should give increasing penalties for every additional engine that is taken and not the other way around. Let's say send them to the back of the grid for the first additional engine, do the same but for the next TWO races for the second engine and so on ... "

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