In a bid to sustain its momentum at the front of the field and help fend off its challengers, Mercedes has designed an all-new engine to power its W10 in 2019.
Mercedes Brixworth factory which houses the manufacturer's power unit operations has been hard at work in the past months overhauling and designing the engine that the team hopes will help it keep its edge.
"We’ve made changes to the cooling architecture of the power unit, which hopefully provide aerodynamic benefit on the car and also provide efficiency benefit on the power unit – so, hopefully a win on both the chassis and on the power unit," explained Andy Cowell, Mercedes' power unit department.
"Right at the heart of the power unit is the conversion of fuel into heat release in the combustion chamber and useful work out of the crankshaft.
"We have made steps on the combustion efficiency and on the ERS system.
"The marriage between the turbocharger assembly with the MGU-H, the inverter, the cells and the MGU-K: that whole system is now capable of operating more efficiently and helping with energy deployment through a race."
Thanks to its new engine's increased efficiency, Mercedes may enjoy the luxury of not having to use this year's full 110kg fuel capacity at the start of a race, which in turn would offer the W10 a slight weight advantage over those opting to use a full allocation.
"If you have got an efficient engine with efficient aerodynamics and you are prepared to do a little bit of lift and coasting, then you have the opportunity to start the race at less than 110kg," said added Cowell.
"For every 5kg of weight you save, it’s about two tenths of a second a lap quicker, so there is a natural reward to starting the race a little bit lighter.
"There is still a competitive edge from making an efficient car – both power unit and aerodynamics – and racing smartly to make sure that you have good pace at the start of the race as well as through the race."