Mercedes back to sandbagging? 'Hamilton drove with old engine in FP1'

19-11-2021 11:53 | Updated: 19-11-2021 13:15
F1 News
Mercedes back to sandbagging? 'Hamilton drove with old engine in FP1'

In the first free practice session for the Qatar Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was quick to complain about a lack of power. How seriously can that comment be taken? According to Auto, Motor und Sport, the Mercedes driver was driving an older engine and the team were sandbagging like they have previously.

Mercedes seem to have found a working strategy to beat Max Verstappen, even on tracks that generally suit the Red Bull Racing car better. The team opted to provide its drivers with a new combustion engine more often than planned, allowing Lewis Hamilton in particular to benefit from more power.

"I am massively down on power", it sounded on Hamilton's on-board radio. The German medium reported that he was driving with the 'Friday engine', which probably means an older engine.

Mercedes unwilling to comment on engine

Asked by Sky Sports, Mercedes wouldn't comment. "It's an engine from the pool," was the answer from the pit box. Since only engines from the pool can be used, that answer doesn't say much.

According to analysts there, Toto Wolff said Hamilton has two engines at his disposal, including the new one from Brazil and another one. It looks like the team has chosen the older engine for Friday.

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