Mercedes’ 2022 power unit is a major improvement on last season, with their new-specification turbo reportedly significantly “enhancing” it.
The Mercedes engine was sometimes matched by the Honda power unit in the back of the Red Bull last season, but the team still managed to claim nine race wins on their way to a record-eighth straight Constructors’ Championship victory.
Formula 1 cars are undergoing radical changes in 2022, as a result of a new set of regulations that were delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aerodynamic changes are the main alteration, with smaller wings on the cars and the return of the ground effect.
Furthermore, the engines are expected to drop by 20 horsepower relative to 2021, and an engine freeze means that teams cannot develop the power units after the first race in Bahrain.
This means that perfecting the performance and reliability of the 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines is crucial, particularly for Red Bull, who will be making their own powertrains following Honda’s departure from Formula 1.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has previously promised “a lot of innovation” from Maranello, and the Scuderia have reportedly overcome the aforementioned power drop as a result of a new fuel blend from Shell.
Mercedes are aiming to achieve the same feat, and have manufactured a turbo “capable of enhancing the qualities of the six-cylinder and hybrid recharging, allowing more extreme strategies,” according to a report by the Italian edition of Motorsport.com.
Wolff affirmed that Mercedes had “problems” with their power unit last year for the first time since the turn of the hybrid era.
“We didn’t lose the championship because of the engine, but it’s true that we had problems for the first time in eight years,” Wolff told Auto Motor und Sport.
The Austrian indicated that what started out as a minor issue turned into a more significant one.
“At first it only affected one component from a bad production run. This developed into an epidemic where the engines lost more power over the running time than before.”
This year’s engines will run on 90 percent fossil fuels and 10 percent biofuel as F1 continues its push to become a more sustainable sport.
Mercedes will unveil their 2022 challenger on 18 February, just ahead of pre-season testing.