Mercedes F1 Paint a Worrying Picture Over 2021 Engine Reliability

Published 02/13/2021, 2:16 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Mercedes F1 enter the 2021 season as the clear favorites to win the title yet again. The Brackley-based outfit have finally managed to resolve Lewis Hamilton’s contract situation and as a result will have the seven-time world champion racing for them for another season.


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Moreover, the freezing in car development works well in their favor. The Silver Arrows have by far the best car as well as the most solid power unit, with which they won 13 out of the 17 races last year.

Thus, they are ideally placed to win an eighth consecutive title. Or are they?


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Mercedes‘ engine head, Hywel Thomas, has sowed some seeds of doubt. According to him, things aren’t as rosy as they may seem in relation to the cars’ power unit.


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SOCHI, RUSSIA. Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes. Sochi Autodrom, Russia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

He said, “We have got some issues with the power units; we know we have issues but we have plenty of plans in place to fix all of those issues.

Thomas’ comment may unnerve the fans, but rivals such as Red Bull will be delighted. However, it is worth advising caution before getting too optimistic over having someone dethrone Mercedes, because if there’s one thing that the Silver Arrows know to do well is build a flawless package, or at least, build a package where the flaws are ridiculously well masked.

Also, the German team takes F1 very seriously, as team boss Wolff revealed. So, anything less than perfection wouldn’t be tolerated.

It may well be possible that with even a slight chink in the armor, Mercedes are still way ahead of everyone else.

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Thomas said, “Also it’s the first winter where we have prepared for only one single upgrade for the whole season. So we have to get all of our performance into the first Power Unit that goes to the first race.


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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team  during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary. Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

“So we have to get all of our performance into the first Power Unit that goes to the first race.”

Reliability issues have been the least of Mercedes’ concerns in recent times. So, this may a new obstacle for the team to tackle this season, especially if it isn’t sorted in time for the season opener.


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Could we see a lot more DNFs for the Silver Arrows this year? Can the chasing pack take advantage of that? Or will it be business as usual for the German team? We shall find out soon.


Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.