Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed that the team has suffered from a setback relating to its engine development for the 2019 season. The Silver Arrows is continuing to push to keep up its stretch of success in Formula 1 in the turbo hybrid era.
Since 2014, the German manufacturer has picked up ten out of the ten driver's and constructor's championships. In the opening years of the new engine regulations, the Mercedes power unit was uncontested in terms of pace and reliability.
However, ahead of the 2019 season, it has hit a mishap: "There is a tremendous development race that is happened as we speak,” said Wolff. “Finding downforce, reducing drag and of course the engine is a very important part, adding more horsepower to the engine.
“So we are setting ourselves really ambitious targets. We have actually increased the targets six weeks ago because we heard some rumours that others were doing well.”
“We’ve had a little bit of a setback on the engine side where we believed the new concept would deliver a little bit more. But these guys are very ambitious like all of us and so I’m optimistic. We will know when the first qualifying session gets underway in Melbourne, this is the moment where everybody shows their cards.”
Mercedes saw Ferrari produce a significant upgrade to its power unit in 2017 before it made another leap this year. The Scuderia outfit challenged Mercedes for the title, but fell short in the latter half of the year, as it did in 2017.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing