Williams' Paddy Lowe believes Mercedes' much talked about 'party mode' serves the purpose of winding up Lewis Hamilton's rivals rather than boosting his car's engine performance.
There's been much debate lately around the German manufacturer's ability to dial in an extra boost of power during the final segment of qualifying, a special engine setting Hamilton has labeled as 'party mode'.
Lowe is adamant however that Williams, as a Mercedes customer, does not enjoy the specific and timely power unit advantage, believing its regular mention is just a subtle component of the team's mind games.
"It’s interesting to wind up others to perhaps suggest there is one but there isn’t," insists the Grove-based outfit's technical director and partner.
"We all get the same. I am sure of that. But it’s still worth winding up certain others.
"There’s often some discussion about some extra mode that arises in Q3. But all credit to some of the drivers involved, they can dig deep and deliver unless they were doing something we don’t know about."
Lowe highlights Hamilton's talent but also praises his former team for putting another outstanding race car on its rails this year, a feat not easy to sustain he says.
"Congratulations to Mercedes for doing another good car," adds the 55-year-old engineer.
"They seem to have maintained a gap and that shouldn’t underestimate the work required to do that.
"In terms of the front three teams and the gap to the midfield, that’s a whole other subject. That’s pretty much stayed the same."