Mercedes hits 900bhp with more improvements coming up

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Mercedes' Andy Cowell has confirmed that the team's engine facility at Brixworth have managed to hit 900bhp with their hybrid 1.6l turbo V6 Formula One engine. Even more so, Cowell is adamant that the limit is far from being reached.

Talking to media at Mercedes' High Performance Power Trains headquarters in Brixworth, Andy Cowell revealed Mercedes has hit 900bhp last year and is now peaking in excess of that number.

He also revealed that this meant reaching a thermal efficiency of 45%, i.e. the amount of potential energy in the fuel that can be converted to driving motion, rather than losses that are eventually rejected through heat.

"We've made some huge gains in the last few years as we have done the development," he told reporters. "We have made good gains over the past two years of racing and I don't see that stopping. I don't think anybody here sees that we have reached the limit.

"Where we are at today with our thermal efficiency is mind blowing when you step back and look at it," he said.

While Cowell hasn't found anyone in his factory state a limit had been reached, he did admit that under the current regulations, the easy gains are gone, but that does not necessarily result into smaller gains for 2016.

"Does it get harder to find big gains? Yes it does, but there are lots of areas where small gains will come. It's a little bit like gold mining when you work bloody hard to get lots of dust and every now and again you get a nice big nugget that makes you smile. We still find those nuggets."

While Brixworth continues to find improvements, Mercedes is wary of the progress that Honda and Ferrari will be making, certain they will both be closer to the Mercedes power units than in 2015.

"Everybody here is going 'I wonder how we're going to do?' Nobody is assuming we are going to win, everybody here is assuming that we're going to get beaten by Ferrari.

"Honda is a big threat," he added. "They have come in quickly and they are learning in front of the public but they're hugely determined and partnered with McLaren who are hugely determined. We know exactly how McLaren work in terms of a data-driven approach, so they are going to make some big, big gains."