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Mercedes admit issues with power unit

The manufacturer has given a first look into its development programme for the new W12 power unit for the 2021 season.

Mercedes has lifted the lid on the development of its new W12 power unit for the forthcoming 2021 season in a Q&A with Hywel Thomas, managing director of the Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth.

As the team prepares to launch its Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance in the coming weeks, the power unit development is reaching its conclusion and despite dealing with a shortened winter break and pandemic restrictions, Thomas says it remains on schedule to remedy any remaining issues before the kicks off in Bahrain next month.

"In terms of readiness, we’ve got plenty of engines in build at the moment getting ready for the new season. We have already got some of them together and we have also got engines running on the dynos right now, doing their durability runs," Thomas said.

"There are also engines for our customers too, which are already with them and either in the back of their chassis and fired up, or in the process of doing so. We have got some issues with the Power Units; we know we have issues but we have plenty of plans in place to fix all of those issues. I’m sure it will all be ready for the first race."

This season Mercedes will add a fourth team as a power unit customer in the form of McLaren, and Thomas said that the extra workload had helped focus minds at the Brixworth plant.

"Of course, we welcome McLaren back as a Power Unit customer and in terms of day to day life at Brixworth, the most important thing for us is because we’ll be producing more engines and sending more engines to races, we don’t want to have to freeze the specifications any earlier. Because that’s time we couldn’t get back, and we really need to make sure that we are getting every ounce of performance and reliability into the Power Units,” he said.

"So, that gives us the challenge of understanding how we can build the engines, can we be more effective, can we be more productive and we’ve got all the plans in place so we can build those extra 25 percent without having a huge impact on what we are able to take to the circuit."

Watch the full Q&A with Thomas below:

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