Toto Wolff says Mercedes is assessing the troubles with its F1 power unit after latest change with Valtteri Bottas and problems on Nicholas Latifi’s side.

Over the course of the 2021 F1 season, Mercedes has seen issues with its power unit, so much so that Bottas has been forced to use a fifth one. His last change came as a surprise at Sochi, where many believed it was done as a ploy against Max Verstappen.

While neither denied it outright, but they put more weight around the issue factor in the new Monza power unit, which forced their hand to change that in Sochi. In fact, Bottas revealed that he only has the new Russian one and one old in his pool at the moment.

The Finn further said that the team had no choice but to change the engine in Sochi as they had to see-through the grand prix Wolff, meanwhile, stated that they are reassessing their pool of power unit, not just on Bottas’ side, but crucially on Lewis Hamilton as well, amid a close title battle.

“We had to change the engine for some issues,” said Bottas to written media. “It was not to cover Max, we had to take if I wanted to finish the race. It was clearly that we had to because otherwise we wouldn’t have finished. We have had quite few issues, and its obviously becoming a bit of a problem.

“The Monza engine is gone. I have the Sochi one and one very-very old one,” summed up Bottas. The Finn couldn’t pull off a similar Monza-like charge from the back in Sochi, which was more down to understeer issue along with the power unit trouble.

Wolff noted that this is a recurring issue which Hamilton has also faced this year. “I think we need to provide Valtteri with the car and power unit which can overtake because you see, he’s not lacking the ability because Monza was spectacular,” he said to written media.

“It is just in Sochi for whatever reason…you saw Lewis struggling with understeer in previous races, then you are not getting close enough. Lewis couldn’t overtake the guys in front of him and same happened to Valtteri, so we need to really understand why the car lacked competitiveness in traffic and felt good in free air.

“As for the engines, at the moment we are reassessing the power units because there are some question marks and we haven’t decided which engines will go back into the pool. I think we just haven’t made the changes because we want to stockpile, but we also want to understand engine’s performance, and that has given us some question marks.

“As I said, at the moment we just take it one race weekend at the time and reassess the performance of the power unit, and then take decisions,” summed up Wolff, who indicated the same for both the drivers. Red Bull took the jump in Sochi by changing Max Verstappen’s power unit and it is not on Mercedes to see if Hamilton needs one.

But they are not just looking at the current picture where one DNF could decide the fate, as Hamilton found out in 2016 already, Mercedes has to work on its 2022 power unit too and as per Wolff, they have to sort the gremlins out now before next year’s homologation hits.

“That’s why we’re having a few balls in the air, because you need to have the right balance between making sure that you really sort out all the gremlins that you have in the power unit, not only for this year but also for next year’s power unit,” said Wolff. “Definitely, we are in a phase of assessment on how to continue the season in terms of power units.

“And it’s always reliability versus performance, it’s always a fine line that you need to get right. And as I said before DNFing, obviously, is a no go for the championship and nobody, neither us nor our competitors, can afford a zero points race weekend,” summed up Wolff.

While the talk is off ‘issues’, Mercedes or anyone hasn’t pinpointed the areas that they are working at – in a way it is natural. Williams, meanwhile, did spill out their apparent trouble, which is related to ‘pneumatic leak’, which is a same problem that George Russell had earlier in the season. Latifi’s engine that they changed in Sochi is likely out of the pool.

“I don’t know why…obviously the announcement is from the FIA, so I don’t why there was a delay,” started Dave Robson, when asked by regarding the engine change announcement coming during Q2 at Sochi and the issue they had. “We obviously declared it to them on Friday night, we knew we had a problem.

“I would say, Mercedes are the best people to get the details of the problem, [all I say say is that] its a pneumatic leak which we have seen before…so the power unit is indicative of a problem and we stopped in time before any serious damage was done and take it back and have a look at it, but I suspect we won’t run it again,” summed up Robson.

Here’s Mercedes explaining start and strategy

Here’s Dave Robson on Max Verstappen’s comments regarding Williams

Here’s Valtteri Bottas on what happened at Sochi

Here’s Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff on their race