Toto Wolff says Mercedes has so far not decided if they require a fourth power unit to see-through the 2021 F1 season, as Christian Horner talks about Max Verstappen’s penalty.
While Mercedes took the fourth power unit for Valtteri Bottas in Italian GP, it hasn’t decided yet if they will do the same for Hamilton. The Brit had an issue with his old unit at Zandvoort, but the team is doing as much to avoid taking a engine penalty.
It will be a crucial decision, considering Red Bull may have to take one for Verstappen after his car suffered damages multiple times. His teammate Sergio Perez already has taken his fourth, which clears the Mexican and also Bottas for the 2021 F1 season.
Wolff has indicated that it is not a definite thing for Mercedes, as they are looking at it via race-by-race approach. Even if they decide to not take it, they will be on their toes every race weekend to not have any sort of failure during qualifying and or the races.
“No, it’s not an absolute must because we’re still running very comfortably with this power unit,” Wolff said to written media. “It’s a decision that can be made at any time but, at the moment, we don’t feel it’s necessary. Does that mean we’re not going to take a fourth? No, it doesn’t. We will see how the next races pan out.”
For now, Wolff is taking the waiting approach and must be hoping that it prevails. On Red Bull side, there is a big saying that they might take it in Sochi already where Verstappen has a 3-place grid drop and where overtaking is possible with a bigger delta.
Christian Horner and the team is tight-lipped at the moment and they are looking at Sochi more with the view of it being a Mercedes stronghold. “I was looking through the results at the Russian Grand Prix and back in 2018, Max went from last to first before needing to make his pit stop,” he said. “We were second there last year but it’s a circuit we have never won at. It has been a Mercedes stronghold.
“For me, Monza and Sochi, I’ve them marked down mentally as Mercedes circuits so it will be a challenge. We have the grid penalty to take for Max too, but in Sochi it’s not such a handicap because of the strength of the tow down to turn one. I’m looking forward to it and seeing how we get on.”
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Here’s Toto Wolff on his tactical foul comment