Mercedes-Benz have confirmed that both works cars, and also those cars of the two customer teams will use the latest spec of their power unit for the season opener in Melbourne.
There have been rumours circulating since Barcelona, that reliability gremlins will prevent Mercedes from introducing their latest spec ‘lump of hybrid-ness’ at Albert park.
The rumours hinted at crankshaft problems with their latest evolution of the all dominant power unit. High level sources in Stuttgart have dismissed the speculation however, and have insisted that the latest spec units will be deployed as planned for the season start.
This means that the spec ran in the second Barcelona test, will be used for the Australian GP. Mercedes did suffer with reliability issues but these ‘minor’ issues are believed to have been resolved.
Mercedes are believed to have made massive inroads to their power output over the winter. Rumours around the paddock suggest an improvement as much as 70 bhp. Form at the second Barcelona test didn’t suggest as much.
This would not have been the first time though that Mercedes have run conservative engine modes to not only hide their true pace, but also to test new vital components.
New for this year remember, is the lack of a power unit token allocation. Major updates are now allowed whenever a new unit is ready to race, and if they are not ready to race… the updates can be delivered later on in the season in sequence with engine usage plans.
Let’s just assume for a minute that all this is true and Mercedes were infact running somewhat conservatively in Barcelona. Where would that leave Ferrari? The maranello based squad ran only one power unit for the the entire two weeks of testing, and appeared to have the edge of pace.
Crash bang for Ferrari aka 2016?