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Mercedes supplying same engine to its customers

  • Published on 17 Mar 2015 09:07
  • comments 2
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Mercedes has hit back at claims it is not supplying the same specification of engine to its F1 customers. In Australia, Williams' Felipe Massa was the fastest non-works Mercedes driver in qualifying, but the gap to Lewis Hamilton's pole time was a massive 1.4 seconds.

Brazilian Massa admitted he suspects Mercedes might be supplying inferior equipment to its Grove-based customer. "If we have the same engine the difference should be in the car," he said. "I hope we have the same engine. I believe we have the same engine, so it's the car. Maybe," said Massa.

That was on Saturday. After the race, Massa admitted he still has his doubts. "I cannot say 100 per cent" that the engines in the Mercedes and the Williams are the same, he is quoted as saying. According to Mercedes' engine boss Andy Cowell, however, the works and customer engines are exactly the same.

"They all have the same engines," he is quoted by Speed Week. "Firstly, that way the engineers are able to learn the most, and secondly, we owe that (service) to our customers. Third," Cowell explained, "it would be too costly from a parts point of view to go around with different engine specifications." (GMM)

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  • Someone besides Massa needs to evaluate the data and report the performance differences between Williams and Mercedes cars on the track. A difference of 1.4 seconds sounds pretty high for "same PU's" if one believes (as I do) that Williams is also pretty astute in wind-tunneling & integrating wheel and chassis appointments and the overall aerodynamics packaging of its 2015 cars. If those studies confirm that the difference is high, then a difference betwen Mercedes and "customer" motors begins to re-appear despite the "logic" of the points argues by Mercedes in the last paragraph.

    Just because some ways of doing things sounds most efficient, economical or feasible doesn't mean that they are practiced. Mercedes has enough secrets built into its new PUs to go to exceptional lengths to shield them.

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2015 - 09:49
  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    I find it hard to believe that. It has been done many times in the past, one works engine and a customer version. The works version using a more aggressive development path but with more risk of problems. Something that a works team can handle but would otherwise be too much of a risk to piss off your customers.

    And I don't buy the logistics excuse. They don't need a whole warehouse with parts, all parts are stored digitally as CAD drawings. If they need a certain part they just pull up the plans, and send it to the C&C machine.
    But even if they are mechanically the same, I'm sure Mercedes has some tricks up their sleeves that they are not sharing with their customers.

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2015 - 18:16

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