Toto Wolff hopes Hamilton won’t need any more engines in 2021

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton’s engine was swapped because the team has “seen unusual noises within the combustion engine”.

Lewis Hamilton will start the Turkish Grand Prix from P11 due to an engine swap which triggered a ten-place grid penalty. Toto Wolff explains why the swap was necessary.

“It’s tricky when you start to push the boundaries with power unit performance,” the Austrian said.

“At a certain stage, you will experience some obstacles, and our power units have been the most reliable since the introduction of the hybrid engines in 2014.

“Because these boundaries are being pushed, we have seen unusual noises within the combustion engine that aren’t completely understood at that stage yet and therefore caused some trouble.

“In the past we had engines that basically failed. Now it’s about containing the problem because, in that phase, redesigning parts is not something you would tackle.

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“Balancing performance and reliability has always been the key metric in the last couple of years, and it will be also going forward. We will not be carrying any deficits into next year because the deficits are being understood. Now it’s about finding the solutions that contain these.”

Mercedes only swapped Lewis’ ICE, and Wolff confirms that changes to additional elements of the power unit will not be needed.

“The other parts like the turbo or the other auxiliary elements are in a wonderful shape… easily within the mileage limits. Therefore we didn’t need to take new components.”

Asked if there is a chance that Hamilton will need another engine swap in 2021, Wolff said he doesn’t believe so.

“I would very much hope not, but it’s seven tough races that are in front of us. Let’s see how the points pan out.

“I would never say no, but normally four engines is good – it looks quite sufficient,” concluded the Austrian.

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