Wolff admits to engine "headache"

01 October 2021 20:26:29 GMTPlus11
Toto Wollf is pondering his options

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says his team are having to balance performance and reliability as they seek to avoid using a fourth power unit on Lewis Hamilton's car.

The Briton is back in the driving seat for an eighth world championship title after winning the Russian Grand Prix last time out and can be backed to win at 4/6, though his main rival Max Verstappen is 6/5.

Hamilton took Sochi boost

Hamilton was able to overhaul Verstappen largely down to the fact the Dutchman began the race at the back of the grid after going over the engine limit for the season.

Each driver is only allowed three power units and Verstappen, along with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and William's Nicholas Latifi took the punishment of a grid demotion at Sochi.

Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas also used his fifth engine of the season and dropped down the order in a move which was widely perceived to be an attempt to block Verstappen from clawing his way up the order.

You always have to find the right balance between performance and reliability.

Toto Wolff

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There are fears in the Mercedes camp that Hamilton will eventually have to change to a fourth engine and Wolff says they are having to carefully manage the situation.

"At the moment, we need to be able to solve all the problems we have found on the engine not only for this year, but also for next year," said the Mercedes chief.

Balancing act for Wolff

"We are at a stage where we are considering how to continue the season in terms of the power unit.

"We want to understand how to get more performance from the engine and this has given us some headaches, but at the moment, we have to think race by race.

"You always have to find the right balance between performance and reliability."

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