Mercedes Were ‘Overstretched Into Unhealthy Territory’ in Catching Ferrari F1 Engine: Wolff

Published 01/05/2021, 8:40 AM EST


Mercedes and Ferrari were in a power-unit tussle in 2019. The Scuderia was winning the fight and stood at the top of the podium at the Belgian and Italian GP. However, the Maranello team did not stay at the front for long.

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There were some technical sanctions placed on Ferrari’s power unit that allowed the Brackley team to climb back up to the top. Eventually, Mercedes won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship that season.

The Maranello team have since struggled to come out of their power unit woes. Meanwhile, Mercedes’ boss, Toto Wolff, admitted that the power-unit war with Ferrari tested the Brackley team’s limits.

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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

“HPP [High Performance Powertrains] had been pushed to the limits in 2019, trying to catch up to the benchmark power unit that was Ferrari [in 2019].

“I would say at certain stages, overstretched into unhealthy territory with the support of MGP, where chassis related items to the power unit needed to be developed,” admitted Wolff.

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Wolff claims 2020 was also a challenging year for Mercedes

Mercedes pushed themselves in 2019 to compete with Ferrari. It was ironic that the Maranello team fell significantly back in their power unit department in 2020. However, the Brackley team still had a difficult season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action after the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“We had to do everything within our arsenal of instruments to try to be in a good space and keep our energy levels high, set the right objectives and find purpose in what we do.

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But years like 2020 are sometimes very difficult and not as straightforward as previous years have been,” Wolff said about the recent season.

The 2021 regulations lead to a cut on downforce to allow for lasting racing tires. However, the regulation will not affect the Brackley team’s dominance significantly. Silver Arrows will hope to extend their lead to an eight and prepare the team for transitioning into the new era.

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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