Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2017

Hamilton expects no engine problems despite vibration warning

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton expects there is nothing wrong with his Mercedes power unit despite warning his team of a vibration at the end of the Japanese Grand Prix.

“Lots of vibrations on this in-lap,” Hamilton told his team after the end of the race. “From the PU [power unit], after I shift.”

Start, Suzuka, 2017
2017 Japanese GP in pictures
But speaking to the media afterwards Hamilton downplayed any concerns about his power unit.

“I don’t honestly think there’s any wrong with the engine,” he said. “I just felt a couple of things, you just point out things that you might forget to tell them after this next meeting.”

“You make lots of different switch changes and the turbos make strange noises and different vibrations come in, so I’m hoping there’s nothing.”

“I don’t think there is anything, I think it was just low… shortshifting which the engine doesn’t like so much. I think that was it.”

Hamilton has scored points in every race this year. But his championship rival Sebastian Vettel has been struck by reliability problems in both of the last two weekends.

Hamilton took his fourth new MGU-K at this weekend’s race. He moved onto his fourth engine, turbocharger and MGU-H at the Belgian Grand Prix. If he has to take further new examples of any of those components in the remaining races he will receive at least a ten-place grid penalty.

No Mercedes-powered drivers have taken any grid penalties for power unit component changes so far this year.

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 10 comments on “Hamilton expects no engine problems despite vibration warning”

    1. Taking a new powerunit means Mercedes looses the advantage in oil consumption they now have. ( they will go from 1,2L tot 09,L ) One of the effects will be less power during qualification runs. So something Lewis hopes to avoid at all costs.

      1. Wrong. If they take a new PU and it’s the same specification as PU #4, then it can burn 1.2L of oil. But I don’t know why everyone is so caught up with that. The team has already come out and said that they’re complying with the revised limits.

      2. @seth-space, Toto Wolff already explained that they do not even go over the 0.9l limit. So this is all just nonsense conspiracy talk anyway.

        Mercedes doesn’t have a magic button that they can just go faster all of a sudden. Of course they will go for full the highest possible mapping, but what’s causing the real difference to race pace is that during the race everybody is limited to what the tyres can handle.

        For instance in Suzuka Hamilton was managing his tyres while the car could go a lot faster. Red Bull is more kind to the tyres so even though their car is inherently slower, they still can lap faster during the race. Although Verstappen apparently was close to canvas.

        1. No, that’s not what he said. Do you have any source for your interpretation of his words?
          Mercedes changed the engine before Monza to avoid the new regulation. There current engine is capable and allowed to use 1.2L.

        2. @patrickl, I believe that Auto Motor und Sport also said something similar before the Belgian GP – that Mercedes, having originally believed that the FIA would require all engines to comply with the 0.9l/100km requirement after Monza, rather than just new engines introduced after that race, had already designed their latest engines to run to those requirements in anticipation of tighter rules.

          Generally speaking, it seems more that the main areas in which Mercedes has an advantage are related to the deployment of the hybrid power boost (particularly the ways in which they harvest and deploy energy over a single lap) – if anything, the arguments over oil burning are something of a distraction.

      3. @seth-space – you make it sound like the Mercs use a full 1.2 litres of oil (over 40 US fluid ounces) in quali! This is not so. All the older engines are allowed to use 12ml per kilometre (about 0.6 US fl.oz per mile) and new engines are allowed 9ml per kilometre. Next year they will all be limited to 6ml per kilometre for the whole season.
        Also, I would not expect the newer engines to be less powerful – but they may be tuned slightly differently. I would expect next year’s oil to have more interesting (maybe more concentrated) additives, however.

        1. That’s not a correct interpretation of the rule. It’s even impossible to measure that.. FIA only checks the available amount before and after the race.
          During use the engine can use 1.2L per 100KM. They can use the option when it’s feasible to use it, like during qualification. The main reason Merc engines can use this 0,5second boost per lap is probably the use of oil in the combustion process.

          1. Do you have any source for your interpretation of Mercedes’ quali power advantage?

          2. It could be as simple a not opening the crankcase vent until Q3 run 2, and consuming a bunch of oil vapor. Used in HER one lap it would mean something.

            But it is certainly way more sophisticated than that.

    2. the biggest success of the Mercs has been their reliability only 4? failures from 150 starts

      they have the most power and reliabilty since 2014

      the rest try and match them and we see what happens

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