Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2020

Hamilton unaware if Mercedes turned their engines down but says it would “make sense”

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he is unaware whether Mercedes had to turn their power units down for reliability reasons in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but it would “make sense” if they did.

Max Verstappen scored a comfortable win 15 seconds ahead of the closest Mercedes at the end of the race. Afterwards he said: “I read they had to turn their engines down a bit, so that’s not helping for them.”

Hamilton responded to Verstappen’s suggestion the team had to protect their MGU-K, saying: “I don’t think that’s the case.” An MGU-K problem on a Mercedes power unit led to Sergio Perez’s retirement in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hamilton said he doesn’t know if Mercedes took special measures to protect their power units at Yas Marina this weekend.

Verstappen won comfortably ahead of the two Mercedes
“When we go back now we’ll ask about it because I wasn’t aware of that personally, I arrived late Thursday night,” he said.

However Hamilton conceded there had been been reliability problems for other Mercedes-powered cars this year.

“HPP and Mercedes have done an amazing job this year. If you look at my reliability for example it’s managed to finish every race so it’s been really fantastic.

“There have been issues with other engines that Mercedes have done for example for the Force India [Racing Point] and with the Williams. So we definitely have work to do.

“If they have done something then it would make sense for sure. I’m just grateful that we’ve finished now and we’re not going to be using any of those engines again anyway so it’s all good for us to do doughnuts.”

Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas was also unaware of any detuning on Mercedes’ power units.

“Honestly I wasn’t aware that the engine was turned down so I can’t really say much,” he said. “I don’t know if it was, how much it was. Red Bull was obviously quicker and for the first time this year they had such a gap on the race pace. Not much more to say.”

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2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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8 comments on “Hamilton unaware if Mercedes turned their engines down but says it would “make sense””

  1. Moot point. Max did everything that was required of him. I did have a small evil grin when Danny Ric nicked the fastest lap off Verstappen, stealing away not just the triple, but a Grand Chelem. Let’s be honest, Max he did exactly what he needed to do and deserved that at least for his tenacity this season. Mercedes did look rather hobbled today. Abu Dhabi should be a Merc track and for Albon to be pushing Hamilton towards the end speaks volumes.

    Hope Señor Sainz keeps his points. Given the gap, they’d need to be swivel eyed to disqualify him so Racing Point could hold onto third in the WCC.

  2. It seems quite amazing that Mercedes wouldn’t tell their drivers about the engine issue. It was widely reported on the race coverage, seemed likely given that Red Bull were equal or outpacing them in qualifying and definitely in the race, McLaren were also a lot closer, and indeed they’d be a motive due to Perez’s DNF in Bahrain. But seriously, not discuss this with the drivers? Baffling.

    1. @david-br Isn’t it just speculation at this point? The team haven’t confirmed anything and it was just the media asking drivers the question. I’d be sceptical about this too given that it would mean both that the drivers weren’t informed, and that they didn’t even notice any reduction in power during qualifying or the race.

      1. @keithedin Wolff seems to have confirmed after the race that they turned down the MGU-K because of the issues with other Mercedes engines (at Williams and RP). It does seem strange the drivers didn’t know. I can understand keeping quiet until after the race. But these questions to Hamilton and Bottas were after.

      2. @keithedin Wolff seems to have confirmed after the race that they turned down the MGU-K because of the issues with other Mercedes engines (at Williams and RP). It does seem strange the drivers didn’t know. I can understand keeping quiet until after the race. But these questions to Hamilton and Bottas were after.

    2. Euhm, the team can’t turn down the engine without driver input. The driver has to flick the switch. Therefore a request would have been made by the team to the drivers to turn down the engine, it wasnt.

  3. This makes a perfect sense since the main target for Mercedes today was to confirm Valtteri’s 2nd place in the Championship. It would be a catastrophe for Mercedes team if Valtteri DNF today and Max scored even a 2nd place (18 points). Well done, Mercedes!

  4. Roberto Giacometti
    14th December 2020, 0:26

    What a load of malarkey!
    All of a sudden , the driver of car 44 does not know what mercedes are doing with their engines?
    Are we supposed to believe this load of tripe?

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