Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Hamilton: New Mercedes engine worth less than half a tenth of a second

2019 Belgian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says the new power unit Mercedes has brought for the Belgian Grand Prix will only bring a small performance gain and is mainly intended to improve efficiency.

Ferrari’s straight-line speed has been superior to Mercedes for much of the season, though some of that has been due to differences in how much downforce and drag the two cars produce.

However Hamilton says Mercedes is not about to move a major step closer towards Ferrari as it introduces its third and and what should be final power unit specification of the season.

“It’s pretty much the same as the second one,” said Hamilton. “So not really any real improvements.

“We’ve constantly been at the forefront of the technology on the engine side. There have been years when we’re just constantly ramping up, ramping up. But when you’re constantly the leader it’s not always easy to keep leading, you have rougher patches. I think it’s been a bit of a harder year in terms of development.

“But we’ve still got great reliability. The last race I did on my first engine and my engine was fantastic throughout the race. So I think this next one it’s the smallest of steps. Not even half a tenth, probably. But I think it’s more reliability continues to improve. Efficiency, which is something we’re really focused on, I think efficiency is key.”

The new power unit will be raced by all three Mercedes-powered teams including customers Racing Point and Williams.

Ferrari has not brought a power unit upgrade this weekend. Sebastian Vettel says he hopes Mercedes do not make a major step forward in the meantime.

“Something’s arriving, yes, we have a new engine planned for obviously the future,” he said.

“But I don’t know what they do so it depends. If they put a lot of horsepower then it’s going to be tough for everyone. Sometimes you’ve got even less horsepower but more reliability. Historically they’ve been very strong, we know that their engine has been very strong, so we hope that they don’t put too much power.”

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8 comments on “Hamilton: New Mercedes engine worth less than half a tenth of a second”

  1. Could running the engine “efficintly” mean less fuel saving, in which case, more race pace?

    1. More likely it will mean that they can put less fuel in. That will be worth some time at the beginning of the race, maybe a tenth or two. But the same amount of fuel saving etc will be used.

  2. As an engine developer the reliability and efficiency of these engines is quite fascinating, much more impressive than the horsepower they put out. Though neither of the two above improves the racing at all, only drives insane costs..

    1. The 200kg weight for these single seater race engines is also quite fascinating…

  3. Though neither of the two above improves the racing at all, only drives insane costs..

    I disagree. Both of these improve the racing.
    Reliability – by allowing drivers to finish races, rather rely on some lottery.
    Efficiency – by allowing drivers to drive faster.

    Unreliable and inefficient engines are of course also nice – they produce huge amounts of pretty smoke and even flames, and causes even more fuel management.

  4. Seeing as this is an efficiency formula, efficiency improvements are exactly what you need to win races rather than “just” headline power output. Eking every single little bit of potential energy out of each drop of fuel is critical and Mercedes have proved they are better at doing this than any other manufacturer in the turbo hybrid era.

    1. Power is efficiency. Efficiency is about getting the maximum energy out of the hybrid recharging and harvesting systems and getting the maximum energy out of the fuel. In the v10/v8 era this efficiency meant that consumption stayed the same but engine power increased. In the hybrid fuel saving era this means that power stays the same but consumption decreases. In both cases efficiency improves but leads to different outcome. The reason for this difference is that the hybrids can harvest energy from lifting and coasting making it a lot more tempting to save fuel from slow driving than with traditional engines.

  5. If you have guts ask your management to offer another seat to Alonso. Win him, So you can claim yourself champion.
    What I am trying to say is that you are a better man at the best machine.
    No one else in this decade, to beat Alonso is here..

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