Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to be handed boost with major engine upgrade

Mercedes have been unable to match the power of Honda and Ferrari this season, costing Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell valuable time down the straights.

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are set to be handed a major boost as Mercedes are understood to be on course to introduce a major power unit upgrade after the summer break.

Specifically, Mercedes will introduce their “Phase Three” power unit at the Belgian Grand Prix in late August.

This will include upgraded hybrid components, which should bring the Mercedes power unit closer to being on par with the Ferrari and Honda packages.

The Silver Arrows have already made an in-season improvement to their power unit this year, with the introduction of their “Phase Two” package.

However, the serial constructors’ champions have opted to deploy it conservatively in a bid to guarantee reliability.

READ: Lewis Hamilton concerned about contracting COVID-19 again as he makes ‘personal choice’

While Ferrari and Red Bull have been plagued by an array of reliability issues so far this season, Mercedes are yet to suffer a reliability-induced DNF in 2022.

As a result of their impressive reliability, Mercedes sit third in the Constructors’ Standings, just 122 points adrift of table-toppers Red Bull and 66 points away from second-placed Ferrari, despite the Silver Arrows struggling for pace this year.

The Brackley-based team have made significant improvements to their aero package in recent races, with Hamilton in particular looking very competitive and almost matching the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring.

Article continues below

However, Mercedes are evidently still lacking in the engine department, so this major power unit upgrade could finally allow the team to well and truly close up to the front-runners and give Hamilton and Russell a shot at gunning for the 2022 title.

Earlier this month, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he believes Mercedes could be very competitive at the upcoming race at Paul Ricard, given the circuit’s characteristics and their recent upgrades.

“We expect them to be very quick there,” said Horner.

“They’ve been very strong at the last two races and there hasn’t been any sign of porpoising at all, they seem to be slowly getting back into the game.”

READ: Carlos Sainz stresses silver lining of unreliable Ferrari power unit

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, for his part, said he estimates they are still lacking a couple of tenths of pace relative to Ferrari and Red Bull.

“We’re still missing two or three tenths in terms of performance,” he said.

“We would really like to be there in the fight that Ferrari and Red Bull are having at the front.”