Mercedes’ engine boss discusses work done under the ‘engine freeze’

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Mercedes High Performance Powertrains boss Hywel Thomas explains what the manufacturer focused on with their power units in 2023, under the ‘engine freeze’.

The 2022 season was the first year of Formula 1’s ‘engine freeze’. The ‘freeze’ is basically a complete block on development by the four Formula 1 power unit manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull Powertrains (at the moment a rebranded Honda).

Mercedes High Performance Powertrains Managing Director Hywel Thomas explains what the manufacturer focused on in 2023, under the ‘freeze’.

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

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

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

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