Brown ‘not worried’ about Formula 1’s ‘power unit race’

2022 will be the second season in which Mercedes supply McLaren with V6 turbo-hybrid engines.

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo in Brazil.v1

McLaren CEO Zak Brown recognises that engine manufacturers will be extremely competitive in 2022, but is confident that Mercedes will provide them with the right package.

Amid significant changes ahead of this year, aerodynamic efficiency will be reduced, while the engines will also be altered resulting in a 20 horsepower drop.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has already said there will be “a lot of innovation” on their power unit, while reports suggest that the Italian outfit has already managed to overcome the deficit.

READ: McLaren CEO hits out at F1 teams for throwing 2022 sprint races into jeopardy

Renault will also be updating the engines in the back of the Alpine car for the first time since 2018, and it has already been suggested that they would have competed for third in the Constructors’ Championship last year if they had the best engine.

McLaren driver Lando Norris racing in the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP.v1

Further, Mercedes are said to have designed a turbo capable of “enhancing” the performance of the V6 hybrid, as Formula 1’s top engine suppliers look to battle it out in 2022.

Brown has had positive talks with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff about the Mercedes powertrains next season.

“I spoke with Toto last week about it. And he was pretty bullish,” Brown said in an interview with

“I think the power unit race is as close as ever, but I’m not worried about it.”

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“They’re feeling good about their development,” he added.

Estimations have suggested that the Woking-based team gained three-tenths of a second by switching from Renault to Mercedes engines ahead of 2021, and they enjoyed solid reliability from their power units too.

The American credits his team with this as well as their suppliers.

“We fortunately had good reliability last year. As you know, there’s more than just the power unit that goes into the reliability,” he explained.

READ: Brown admits McLaren could ditch Mercedes for VW power units

“I think our guys did a good job of working with the power unit in year one, so reliability hasn’t been maybe the same level of concern with us that it has with others.”

McLaren ended the 2021 season fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, narrowly missing out on third to Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo claimed the team’s first victory since 2012 at the Italian Grand Prix, leading home team-mate Lando Norris for their first 1-2 since 2010.

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