Mercedes F1 Director Explains Why They Didn’t Change All Engine Parts on Lewis Hamilton’s Car

Published 10/08/2021, 8:44 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer


Lewis Hamilton will take a 10 place grid penalty at the Turkish Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver has finally taken a brand new engine, which is his 4th of the season. There was a bit of discussion regarding when he will take the new engine as his title rival Verstappen had taken it in Russia last race.

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But like Verstappen, Lewis will not start from the back of the grid as he has not changed every component of the power unit. Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin stated why the team changed just the ICE.

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There’s balance and risk of reliability issue: Shovlin

As reported by GPBlog, Shovlin mentioned that the German team are simulating all the races. He also stated why they decided not to change the rest of the components of the engine.

We are simulating all the races until the end of the year. There’s balance and risk of the reliability issue,” said Shovlin.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – NOVEMBER 14: James Allison, Technical Director at Mercedes GP talks with Mercedes GP Engineer Andrew Shovlin in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 14, 2019, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

“The thing you definitely don’t want to do is fail during the race and take a penalty anyway. Then there’s the performance element because the power unit loses horsepower over their life.

“The ten-place penalty is the bit that most contributes to the reliability element. And the performance is the ICE itself. It’s better to take ten places than start from the back,” explained the Mercedes engineering director.

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Shovlin explains why they chose Turkey for Lewis Hamilton

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Andrew Shovlin stated they felt Turkey was a good track for them to change the power unit in Lewis’ car. He also referenced how Lewis overtook the field in Turkey in his GP2 days.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – NOVEMBER 15: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park on November 15, 2020, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

“Working out how easy it is to overtake is hard. In your own mind, you know which tracks are good for passing. Sochi has a long straight, but we were struggling with understeer, which made it tricky. Hamilton, you remember in the GP2 race, he felt there were lots of opportunities here,” said Andrew.

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It would be interesting to see if Hamilton would need to take the other components in the remaining races of the season.

Can Lewis recover in Turkey? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

451 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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