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Mercedes insist "painful" power unit penalties will "pay dividends"

Mercedes insist "painful" power unit penalties will "pay dividends"

F1 News

Mercedes insist "painful" power unit penalties will "pay dividends"

Mercedes insist "painful" power unit penalties will "pay dividends"

Mercedes motorsport strategy director James Vowles is confident the "painful" power unit penalties the team has been taking recently will "pay dividends" this season.

Valtteri Bottas, in particular, has been badly affected as the Finnish driver's W12 has required new power unit components at the past four races.

For the United States Grand Prix, Bottas' car took on a sixth new internal combustion engine, leading to a five-place penalty and a drop from fourth to ninth for the race.

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, is on his fourth ICE, with his position so far unclear as to whether he will require a fifth at some stage over the final five grands prix.

Explaining the latest change on Bottas' car, and the fine margins Mercedes is facing, Vowles said: "We are balancing performance versus reliability to the end of the season.

"One failure to finish a race, be it because of a chassis or power unit fault, would be catastrophic for the championship, and as a result of that, we are managing that in the best way possible to the end of the year."

With the team still 23 points clear of Red Bull in the battle for the constructors' title, each move made by both teams with regard to its power units is crucial.

"In the case of Valtteri, it meant taking one further ICE to make sure we had absolutely the best compromise," added Vowles.

"As to whether it improved his performance, yes, a small amount but it is more about the balance across the remainder of the season than one event.

"So, this change, as painful as it was during the Austin Grand Prix, will actually pay dividends across the next few races.”

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