Mercedes has reportedly committed to providing its latest engine specification to all of its teams competing in Australia.
It had been thought that Mercedes was anxious about possible problems with the most recent version of its power unit. A possible problem with the crankshaft was said to have been identified in pre-season testing in Spain.
Another potential issue was rumoured to have been a identified with the coupling of the MGU-K to the power unit.
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However it seems that Mercedes was running conservatively at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya precisely to identify potential issues. The team has now had over a week to analyse the results and make any necessary changes.
Revisions can be made to the engines without penalty. In 2016 manufacturers had to spend a ‘token’ to make changes, but this year Mercedes is free to fine-tune their power unit to address any teething problems that arise.
High level sources at Mercedes have confirmed to Autosport magazine that the Mercedes works team together with customer teams Williams and Force India will now be fitted with the latest engines for Melbourne.
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Reliability could still prove to be an Achilles Heel for Mercedes. That said, the three Mercedes-powered teams completed 12480km in pre-season testing – more laps than any other engine provider. Ferrari was next up with 11447km undertaken by Ferrari, Sauber and Haas.
Renault managed 8682km from the works team, Toro Rosso and the TAG Heuer-badged version in the Red Bull. However Honda’s power unit completed just 1978km in the McLaren.
Media reports at the end of last week suggested that McLaren had sounded out Mercedes about a possible engine supply. The team insists it remains committed to its current engine provider.
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