Mercedes make admission about 2023 power unit

A software freeze was introduced this season, whilst an engine freeze of several components was started in 2022.

Hywel Thomas, the managing director of Mercedes’ high performance powertrains engine division, has revealed that the Silver Arrows prepared themselves for “whatever” 2023 was going to throw at them, ahead of the current season.

Mercedes have endured a challenging 20 months in the new aerodynamic era of the sport, which has also seen an engine freeze.

The V6 engine, turbocharger, MGU-K, MGU-H, energy store, control electronics, exhaust system, fuel, and engine oil were all frozen either March or September last season, with powertrain suppliers only allowed to make changes “for the sole purposes of reliability, safety, cost-saving”.

Mercedes opted to make changes during the winter to improve their powertrain’s reliability, with Thomas having revealed that they “corrected several areas”.

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“This is the second year of the performance hardware freeze,” Thomas said as per

“That still allowed us to do reliability upgrades over the winter and we corrected several areas we’d learned about over the previous season.”

It’s not just the mentioned engine components which are frozen, as a software freeze was also introduced this season.

Thomas admits that the software freeze was a “real departure” for the Brackley-based team, who took their time in figuring out how to correctly approach it.

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Given that they had no idea how the W14 would perform, this made the task incredibly challenging, which resulted in the Germans having no choice but to “keep an open mind” and prepare for any eventuality.

“We also had the software freeze for the first time,” Thomas continued.

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“That was a real departure for us and took some thought on our approach to it. And then we had the challenge of getting lots of hardware together for the first hardware drop.

“We also weren’t entirely sure of the sort of performance the cars would have this year, the amount of bouncing, downforce and therefore amount of full throttle time. It all seemed a bit up in the air, so we tried to keep an open mind and be ready for whatever came.”

Mercedes have looked better this season compared to last year and have only really suffered one reliability issue with their power unit, which came in Australia where George Russell was forced to retire.