F1 News

Engine problems at Mercedes critical? 'This can decide the championship'

Engine problems at Mercedes critical? 'This can decide the championship'

17-10-2021 08:40 Last update: 09:40


With six races to go and six points difference in the championship there is a lot to look forward to in Formula 1 this season. Mercedes seem to be the fastest car at the moment, but are having problems with their engine. Red Bull Racing is also having problems of its own, but it is the car itself that is the problem.

F1 journalist Michael Schmidt sees a surprising turn of events, he explains at Auto, Motor und Sport. "The title fight has a new dynamic. Red Bull no longer understands the car, Mercedes no longer understands anything about the engine. In the end both can determine the world championship". At Mercedes they have strange problems with the engine since Zandvoort.

Hamilton had to take grid penalty

Not only at the top team, but also at the customer teams there are suddenly a lot more problems. "That came as suddenly as Red Bull's problems with the car. Hamilton did have to replace his engine in Turkey. There was just no more slack. The first engine broke down at Zandvoort, the second one was taken apart to give certain parts to the latest engine."

Then at Mercedes they have the third engine, introduced at Spa. However, according to Schmidt, that engine could also be written off. Toto Wolff acknowledged to the German medium that they no longer expect to use that engine in competitive battle. "We still have to decide if we will run another race with it or only use it for the Fridays," he said.

Bottas situation bad news for Mercedes

That would mean Hamilton would have to do seven races with his new engine. With the current engine, that's a particularly tough task, even when looking at his Finnish teammate. Valtteri Bottas got a new engine at Monza and did the same again in Sochi. The Monza engine was taken out of the pool after only 931 kilometres, which is very little for an F1 engine.

A Grand Prix is always around 300 kilometres. So, without taking into account qualifying on Saturday, Bottas has just completed three Grands Prix with a new engine and Hamilton now faces the task of running seven races on a single engine.

Video player

More videos