Engine reliability 'even more important' in 2024 - Mercedes

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It might be two years to go before new engine rules kick in, but Mercedes are still focussed on making any possible tweaks and improvements they can to the power unit in the new W15.

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) managing director Hywel Thomas said that his team based at Brixworth had been focused on delivering every millisecond of performance possible under the existing regulations.

"Despite the homologation of the power unit, there's still performance we can bring," he said on Wednesday at the official unveiling of this year's new car at Silverstone.

"We've worked incredibly closely with our team-mates in Brackley," he explained. "We all have our piece of the jigsaw we are responsible for. We're always looking at how we maximise our part, how we work together to create the strongest possible package."

Even when the technical rules and regulations are unchanged, teams are continually working on the efficient integration of the power unit each year to the chassis and gearbox, while ensuring continuing reliability.

"We are focused on providing the highest performing, but also the most reliable product we can," Thomas said. "This year, reliability is arguably even more important that in 2023."

Hywel Thomas, Managing director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains.

The forthcoming season will be the first o feature 24 races, two more than last year. Thomas admitted that making sure the power unit lastes the distance was no easy feat.

"It's quite a big challenge," Hywel admitted. "We know that not finishing races is detrimental to your points scoring so it's a huge focus.

"The change to the regulations to ensure we still have four Power Units across the season is helpful," he continued.

"But we know that with the longest calendar in F1 history, our ability to create the most reliable and performant product possible will still be tested."

The current rules stability means that teams can also start looking at the major overhaul that will come in 2026, and the arrival of new manufacturers on the grid including Audi.

"To have a rule set that has attracted new manufacturers, and has a clear real-world relevance, is excellent," Thomas acknowledged.

"It's a chance to showcase our talent, our innovative approaches, and the possibilities the sport can bring. It's great, and people walk around with smiles on their faces as they tackle this project."

Following today's launch event, the W15 will be on track this afternoon for a brief shakedown before heading to Bahrain for next week's official pre-season test, a week before the first race of 2024 at the same venue.

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