home icon / F1 News, Reports and Results / Mercedes braces for Hamilton power unit diagnosis

Mercedes braces for Hamilton power unit diagnosis

©WRI2

Mercedes will only know next Friday if the engine used by Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne has sustained its good health following last Sunday's slight overheating issue.

The Silver Arrows ace was ordered to back off in the final stages of the Australian Grand Prix to protect his power unit, a circumstance which prevented Hamilton from challenging future winner Sebastian Vettel.

With teams dealing with a reduction of available engines per driver from four to three this season, power unit management - and the avoidance of the dreaded grid penalty - has become even more important.

Mercedes trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin is confident Hamilton's engine was not impacted by the high temperatures which were recorded, but only when the W09 takes to the track on Friday morning at Sakhir will the worries eventually subside.

"You may have heard us on the radio telling Lewis his engine was getting hot," said Shovlin.

"That is just the fact that when the cars get so close, you don't get clean air going into the radiators to keep it cool.

"It did get quite close to limit temperate, but we are monitoring these limits very closely. You can run up to the limits, you just have to be careful you don't run over them."

Shovlin believes the steps team and driver took in Melbourne precluded any risk of failure, the Mercedes engineer underlining the fact that the specific unit must remain intact until after the Chinses Grand Prix which directly follows Bahrain.

"In Lewis' case we were OK and just up around the limit. You heard Lewis say on the radio he couldn't get past and he was going to save the engine," explained Shovlin.

At that point, he just backed off, was cooling the car and could turn down the power of the engine so it was not having to work so hard.

"But, we are pretty confident the engine will be in good shape. We are limited in what tests we can do because we can't actually run the engine, we are not allowed to until we get to Bahrain.

"In terms of where it will be used next, at the moment that's Lewis' only engine in the engine pool, so he is going to be running that engine in Bahrain and China.

"We will be monitoring them as we always do to ensure everything continues to be okay."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter