Mercedes could face a decision whether to saddle Lewis Hamilton with engine penalties or run with a damaged power unit at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after he won the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend, despite coming close to retiring.
Toto Wolff revealed after the race that the Silver Arrows had to manage Hamilton’s power unit for much of the race as issues were detected at their base in Brixworth.
Further examinations will determine exactly what course of action is required at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“After the first pit stop with Lewis we noticed quite a significant problem, which required a huge amount of input from a number of sources,” chief strategist James Vowles said in the team’s debrief.
“We have a team back in the UK at Brixworth who work alongside us on the intercom, and we have a huge team trackside working together diligently to understand what we can change on the engine to get to the end of the race.
“They did a fantastic job. It wasn’t one change – it was a huge number of changes across a 40 – 50 lap period, where they were working with Lewis to adjust various componentry and get that Power Unit to the end of the race. They did a fantastic job.
“The net result of that, though, is that the engine has sustained some level of damage – but we don’t yet understand what. It has to be inspected and understood before we can make any decision going forward to Abu Dhabi.”