Following headlines about a “party” engine mode, Mercedes have explained that they have three basic modes, one for practice, one for qualifying and one for grands prix.
Lewis Hamilton took pole position by half a second at the Australian GP and later stated that he was “waiting to put a good lap in to wipe that smile off” Sebastian Vettel’s face.
Vettel, though, questioned whether Mercedes had a special mode that they could switch to ahead of the all-important pole position shoot-out.
The team has now explained that they in fact have “three basic modes” on the engine: “one for the majority of the free practice sessions, one for the majority of qualifying and one for the majority of the race.”
Mercedes added that “sometimes this qualifying mode will be used throughout qualifying, sometimes only in Q3.”
The power unit settings alter how the engine operates and how it stores and deploys electrical energy.
“All three can be altered with various sub-settings for different situations, which control whether electrical energy is being net deployed over a lap, recovered or used in a balanced manner (with energy deployment and recovery balancing each other out),” said the team.
And with Formula 1 heading to Azerbaijan, the first “power sentitive” circuit, for round four of this season, Mercedes reckons the talk about “party” modes will continue.
“It will be interesting to see how the storyline around engine modes develops as the season progresses, particularly when F1 reaches those more power-sensitive venues.”