After much delays, Mercedes has confirmed they will be running their latest spec of the engine upgrade at the French Grand Prix. They had intended it to do at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal but decided not to do so, at the very last moment.
With Lewis Hamilton topping both the practice sessions on Friday, Mercedes confirmed that the car was running the new and upgraded engine. Their works teams, Williams and Force India were also given the new engine for the practice sessions at the French Grand Prix. The update is said to bring around a tenth of a lap of an advancement.
Mercedes is dubbing the new engine upgrade as version 2.1, with version 2.0 referring to the engine they wanted to run in Canada. The delay in deployment means ‘added goodness’, as confirmed by Mercedes.
During the second practice session, Niki Lauda told Sky Sports F1 how important it was for the team to deliver a reliable update after significant ones from rival teams.
“We’ve been one race late with the new engine, because we really have to watch it,” he said. “It’s very important that Andy Cowell is doing a perfect job.
“What I hope is that our engine will help us here to get back, because everyone improved their engine in the last race.
“The difference could be one or two tenths, nobody really knows what the others are doing.
“So, I hope that our engine will work well here, this is important, so we can get pole position back.”
Hamilton was 0.7s faster than the Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the second final practice. The Red Bulls were the closest rivals to the Mercedes team while the Ferrari team were at least a second off to Hamilton.
With Paul Ricard starting of F1’s triple header, the Mercedes upgrade is certainly one of the most important one for the team after they suffered a humiliating defeat in Canada to Ferrari.