The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team decided not to change all of Lewis Hamilton’s engine components ahead of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix as it would not have been advantageous on either a performance or reliability level.
Hamilton will drop only ten places on the grid at Intercity Istanbul Park after Mercedes opted to replace only his internal combustion engine, whilst relying on the older other components across the remainder of the season.
Andrew Shovlin, the trackside engineering director at Mercedes, admitted they considered changing all components, which would have put Hamilton to the back of the grid, but ultimately they decided it was not worth the risk.
“We are simulating all the races until the end of the year,” Shovlin said to Sky Sports F1. “There is the balance and risk of a reliability issue, and obviously the thing that you definitely don’t want to do is fail during the race and then have to take a penalty anyway.
“Then there is also a performance element because the power units do lose a bit of horsepower over their life. The 10-place penalty is the bit that most contributes to that reliability element and the performance is the ICE itself, so it is better to take 10 places than to start from the back.”
Should Hamilton have a bad qualifying session on Saturday, Shovlin doubts further changes to the engine components this weekend for the seven-time World Champion, although he has not ruled it out completely.
“Unlikely really,” Shovlin admitted. “There is a lot of fairly intrusive work when you start changing some of those elements during the race weekend, so we are pretty happy with the decision we have taken so far and that is likely on what we’ll stick with.”