Pre-season testing for this year’s F1 season is going to kick off in just a few weeks, and in the meantime, Mercedes has teased us with a video of its 2018 challenger, the W09, firing up. There’s not actually much to see in the new video – we’ll have to wait for the car’s launch on 22 February to see more – but we do see the car’s exhaust pipe and two wastegate pipes. And we get to hear it too.
The engine rules aren’t that different to last year’s with the only difference being the amount of engines the teams can use throughout the season. Last year, drivers had an allocation of four power units each per season, and now that’s been reduced to just three.
It’s a move that was originally designed to save money, but according to Mercedes’ engine boss Andy Cowell, it’s meant the development of an all-new engine, and the construction of up to one hundred possible test units.
‘It’s crazy,” Cowell told Italy’s Corriere dello Sport, “because the manufacturers will have to virtually redo many parts. We will build at least eighty to one hundred engines and then test them on the bench and take the three or four that have the best reliability and power characteristics.’ he added. ‘That’s a huge cost that the manufacturers will not be able to recover.’