The German manufacturer team has a deficit against Red Bull and has now explained, that they have an engine derating issue.
Mercedes struggle with the chassis of their new W12 car not performing as it is supposed to do. But it is not only the chassis that is causing problems for the German team but also the energy recovery system. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said, that they are is losing against Honda in terms of derating.
Derating is described as the boost of the engine which is created in the energy recovery system, when it is running out at the end of the straight.
Addressing that issue, Wolff stated where the team is losing out the most against Red Bull. “I think we’re losing on the high speed [corners]. We can clearly see there’s a deficit. We’re losing a little bit on the engine side in terms of derate. We are not yet in a happy place with our energy recovery, but it’s not one thing we point to where we can say this is the big gap.”
Not only Red Bull but also AlphaTauri made gains in terms of their engine due to improvements by Honda. Toto Wolff however thought that Mercedes would still get on top of its power unit issues. “Honda has done a great job,” he said. “They delivered the power unit which is extremely competitive. Look at where AlphaTauri is. And we just have to take it as sportsmen. You just have to say when they’ve done a really good job, full stop. There’s just no one-off solution then to recover. And I believe that on the derates that you see, it is something that we have to get on top of. That is not easy, but we’ll get there.”
But Wolff is also not too surprised about the improvement Honda made with its engine for their final season in Formula 1. “Am I surprised?”, Wolff said. Answer: “No I’m actually not at all surprised.”
He evaluated about the Japanese manufacturer, stating that he thinks “Honda is a very proud company and […] was convinced that they would give all the power to have a great power unit in the final year as a works team.” Considering their performance he said, that he “[thinks] they left no stone unturned, and no resource unutilised to finish the job properly. So it’s good motivation for us and I’m happy for them.”