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Mercedes set to overhaul engine for 2018 F1 season

Written by  Jan 08, 2018

Mercedes are set to introduce a major overhaul of their engine for the 2018 Formula 1 season as the development of the current hybrid technology continues at remarkable pace.

The German manufacturer, which has its engine base in Brixworth in the UK, has been the leader in terms of engine performance having worked on their design since returning to the sport as a works team in 2010 and has translated that into four straight double championship successes since 2014.

Last year, Ferrari emerged as the biggest threat so far but it would be the engine superiority which won the day both in terms of power and reliability. At the other end of the spectrum, it would be significant design changes which undid Renault and Honda who endured problems throughout.

Head of engine performance Andy Cowell, defended the need to keep evolving, however.    

"We've done 20 races with this model," he told Autosport. "It's had several phase-ups through the season and we've got ideas to improve the power, the indicated power in the engine, reduce the friction in pretty much every area of the power unit and the losses in electrical systems."

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As time passes, with the current formula now five years old, it would be expected the rate of development would slow but with the technology as a whole still young, Cowell admits there is still room to find more power with reports the 1000 horsepower mark is in sight.

"Every time you do an engine, every time you do a phase update you've always learned," he explained. "Some of it is big, fundamental bits of learning, combustion progress, friction reduction, new materials that unlock areas where we've been struggling with reliability and sometimes it's just a surprise.

"There's still gains to be had [with this formula]. It's a plethora of marginal gains, five-millisecond gains. Then there are those nice surprises where you thought north would give you 2kW and actually it's south that gives you 2kW.

"It has just been about doing those great experiments," he concluded.

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