Mercedes doubt Shell improvement claims

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Mercedes and its oil partner do not think that petrol and oil could bring such a significant margin as Ferrari and Shell claimed at the end of the season.

At the season finale in Abu Dhabi Ferrari and its long-time partner Shell claimed that the Italian marque gained half a second over the course of the year thanks to the petrol improvements of the Dutch company.

„That is an interesting number, but probably not the truth” said Mercedes sporting chief Toto Wolff.

Mercedes have been working closely with Petronas, its title sponsor. The Malaysian company also doubts that such significant gains can be achieved.

The company's specialist Chan Ming-Yau revealed that they only introduce a new petrol, oil or lubricant version if real gains are guaranteed.

„We only put new petrol into race action if we can expect sensible advantages. Something which we can make a step forward with.”

What makes the calculations difficult is the fact that „there are too many unknown factors.” What is the starting point? Which lap do you talk about? Is the improvement down to the new petrol or to the new engine package?

Chan does not think there is a revolutionary petrol in Formula 1. „This is a ceaseless evolution.”

„If you want to achieve big improvements you have to modify a lot on the engine and the electronics” added Chan.