Mercedes are feeling confident that they have found a solution to recent problems they have faced with their engines. The team previously seemed to have some reliability concerns , with Valtteri Bottas recently taking his sixth ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) of the season, three more than the permitted number. Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton had to run a new ICE at the Turkish Grand Prix, and a further engine change has not been ruled out for the Briton. However, team boss Toto Wolff believes that the Brackley-based squad have made progress in resolving these problems. "I think we've gotten on top of the reliability issue that we had," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.com . "We didn't see that phenomenon occur anymore, which is a good step forward. Hopefully, knock on wood, from the reliability side we should be on a good trajectory."
High altitude improvements
Another recent concern for Mercedes was the effect that racing in high altitude at the Mexican Grand Prix could have on their power unit, which has often been at a disadvantage in such venues due to the impact of the thin air on the turbo . The effect did not seem to be as great as the team may have feared, though, with Bottas and Hamilton causing a surprise by showing faster pace in qualifying than the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes' Trackside Engineering Director, thinks that the team's performance in Mexico highlights the steps forward they have taken with the engine. "Well, we know that we've made a bit of progress," Shovlin explained. "It's impossible to say with them [Honda]. "I'd say the issues this weekend... We focused on the chassis side and how we could get a bit more grip, stop sliding around and overheating. It didn't feel like we had a deficit on the power unit side. We'll do analysis on that. "It's just difficult to isolate everything that's going on at one single race; you need to really look at them over a sequence of events to understand that." This could bode well for Mercedes at the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix, where the team will be keen to secure a good result as the championship battle continues. Verstappen has a 19-point lead over Hamilton in the Drivers' standings following Mexico, whilst Mercedes are now only one point ahead of Red Bull in the Constructors'.