Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says the team are looking for “tweaks” they can make to their power unit to improve engine performance.
The engine freeze brought in at the start of 2022 heavily limits what the teams are able to do to upgrade their power units all the way until the end of 2025, but Mercedes are still trying to search for solutions that can improve their speed.
Shovlin explained there are areas in which teams can operate to unlock more pace from their power units, and their efforts on engine performance will not detract from attempts to upgrade the W13’s chassis, which has proven troublesome for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell this season.
“Of course we are trying to find something,” said Shovlin, quoted by the Spanish edition of Motorsport.com.
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“However, our power units are already homologated and the only thing we are allowed to do at the moment is to work on improving reliability.
“But there is another area we can work on that is not forbidden. I’m talking about engine control modes, which we can switch as we like.
“We understand our new car is not perfect, but the good news is if your car is not as fast as you would like there are many areas where it can improve.
“So our staff are now looking closely at the possibilities for tweaks that can give us extra performance [in the engine]. But yes, in terms of chassis [development], we don’t want to stop either.”
On the car itself, Mercedes have been one of the teams worst affected by the ‘porpoising’ phenomenon in Formula 1, whereby the car effectively bounces as the downforce generated from underneath the car pulls it towards the track surface, thus causing contact with the ground at high speed.
The team have been running their car with a higher ride height to try to alleviate the drivers’ concerns, with Russell complaining of back and chest issues after the race weekend at Imola.
Shovlin admitted it will take some time for the team to get over, but there could be upgrades on the way for the next race to try to combat it.
“Being realistic, we think this is something we approach in steps rather than one big moment when the whole thing vanishes,” he said in Mercedes’ post-Imola debrief video.
“But we are seeing encouraging signs and we are hoping to bring parts to the car soon, maybe even for Miami, where we can hopefully see progress on this issue.