Mercedes says Hamilton’s engine swap was not due to “a risk of failing”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says the team “picked a good circuit” to swap Lewis Hamilton’s engine, but “there wasn’t a technical reason to change”.

Mercedes decided to give Lewis Hamilton his fifth engine of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix and take a related five-place grid penalty.

Andrew Shovlin explains the swap was not done due to a “technical reason”.

“There wasn’t a technical reason to change, as in we didn’t think that we were at risk of failing, and we don’t think we’re at risk of failing,” the Briton said.

“Although, you know, these power units are running awfully hard, and you can never take reliability for granted.

“There is an attraction to taking a penalty at the Sprint race, because if you can win on the Saturday, that’s more points that you can score and you can lessen the deficit.

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“This was also a track that we hoped would be one that we could overtake at, and that we could recover positions at, and we proved that.”

Earlier Toto Wolff revealed this leaves Lewis with two engines in his pool, and now Shovlin says it could prove to be an advantage in the last three races of the season.

“You want to get these things in the pool because, by the time you get to Abu Dhabi, you’re not going to get the advantage of it for more than a single race.

“So there’s a number of reasons, and it’s never black and white, because you don’t know how the weekend is going to pan out.

“But on reflection, I think we picked a good circuit to do it,” concluded Mercedes’ chief engineer.

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