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Wolff: Mercedes' smoking engine not a reliability issue

  • Published on 30 Jul 2020 09:23
  • comments 9
  • By: Coilin Higgins

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has assured that the recent smoking seen from the team's power unit is not a reliability issue, but admitted that the team have yet been unable to find the cause of the smoke.

Puffs of blue smoke had been observed coming from the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during the opening three rounds of the season, as well as from the cars of Mercedes customer teams Racing Point and Wiliams.

Despite the power unit issues discovered by Mercedes during pre-season testing in Barcelona last February, Wolff is sure that the smoke seen coming from the power units has nothing to do with the reliability.

Speaking at the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, Wolff hoped the team would have an answer by this weekend's race at Silverstone.

“You can see it when the oil tank is filled up at the beginning, we seem to have an issue that the oil gets out of the chassis,” Wolff said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“We don’t know where that comes from, but it seems [to be] when we fill it up to the top we are not in much control of how much escapes at the beginning.

“We see it on all the Mercedes engines and it’s something that we need to understand and get on top of.

“It’s not a reliability issue, which I’m glad that it isn’t, and probably in Silverstone, I can respond to what it is because at the moment I don’t know.”

Wolff claims Mercedes was at 'burnout' levels competing with Ferrari power unit last year

Wolff also opened up on how his team were pushed to 'burnout' levels by Ferrari as the team struggled to keep up with the power from Ferrari's 2019 power unit.

However, Wolff explained how the team made a big step forward with its own power unit performance this year while still being able to follow the regulations set out by the FIA.

“There's a clear regulation on power units," Wolff added. 

"There have been clarifications in Austin [last year], what is allowed to do or not, which were important, but nothing that was in any way surprising because if you comply to the regulations that was anyway clear.

"I think the irony of the story is that we were pushed by some of our competitors to absolutely new levels. It brought us to almost burnout last year, to develop and innovate in a way to be competitive on track.

"And here we go, I think we made a substantial jump in performance from 2019 to 2020. Because we needed to last year, and that is a little bit ironic for me.”

Replies (9)

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  • Dert38

    Posts: 354

    Ferrari were also puffing with smoke last year and i doubt they don't know own reasons XD
    FIADES?

    • + 0
    • Jul 30 2020 - 10:43
  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    mb should be investigated

    • + 4
    • Jul 30 2020 - 11:15
  • Manto02

    Posts: 93

    Wonder why when ferrari smoked a lot last year it was immediately investigated by fia and they "reached an agreement" this year to avoid using illegal components

    • + 1
    • Jul 30 2020 - 11:19
    • Dert38

      Posts: 354

      FIADES. No doubt.

      • + 0
      • Jul 30 2020 - 20:25
  • oil or coolant burns? Oil burning is illega, but maybe they bump the flow when throttling post-corner? I dunno what the regularions say on coolant, but since Merc struggle with temps a lot so far, oil or coolant ain't a far off bet.

    • + 0
    • Jul 30 2020 - 13:38
    • the fact that he also points out the "oil leak" seem incredibly convenient. "oh it just spills out, not to worry, we've totally never meddled with oil burns before and won't ever again, for deffs".

      • + 0
      • Jul 30 2020 - 18:08
    • Dert38

      Posts: 354

      oil. And how they say about it... it's not even a tip, it's actually statement of a fact that they've done the same thing which Ferrari did last year. But legally. Ferrari, on opposite, scaredly enough stopped research, which is another proof of how deadly was the hypocrite philosophy of concentrating on bad racer Vettel. With hypocracy you couldn't feel where good where wrong cause you obliged to do wrong which neither you neither your fans don't like.

      • + 1
      • Jul 30 2020 - 20:31
  • RogerF1

    Posts: 501

    Seems very strange. Maybe a thought, whilst burning oil isn’t allowed (I presume) in the cylinders - as a fuel supplement - letting oil ‘get into’ the hot exhaust stream post cylinder would maybe boost gas volume and hence turbo rpm and so turbo boost and harvesting charge.
    I find it hard to believe Merc “don’t know where it comes from”.

    • + 0
    • Jul 30 2020 - 23:21
    • exactly why I have a shrimp with his statement. He means to say, that Mercedes f*****n Benz son, doesn't know why their PU puff out smoke?

      • + 0
      • Jul 31 2020 - 08:48

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