Mercedes F1 Team pins hopes on next year’s regulation revamp and promises to give its utmost to maintain its utter domination beyond 2016. However, the team's leading engineer Aldo Costa conceded that Mercedes is facing a big mountain to climb due to the sweeping changes.
Mercedes capitalized the most on the sweeping technical changes which were implemented at the dawn of the new hybrid engine era in 2014. The Anglo-German squad’s power unit dominated that year which also propelled some of its customer teams towards the sharp end of the grid.
While rival engine manufacturers managed to reduce the initial vast gap, Mercedes could turn its focus to the chassis development and produced a complex car which has not showed any weak points so far.
2017 sees the inception of many technical changes. Engine development will be freed up by scrapping the much debated token system altogether and serious aerodynamical changes are also set to be introduced.
Despite to the thorough revamp, Mercedes thinks it is possible to keep its technical dominance, although it will be a big task for the team.
“The regulation change will be pretty vast, on a lot of car aspects,” started Mercedes’ leading technical figure Aldo Costa.
“We know we have in front of us this big, big challenge. We would love to be the team that breaking exactly the rule you said, that with the new rule there are new leaders. We would like really to break this rule, but it is tough.”
As for this year, Costa disclosed that Mercedes is planning the introduction of small changes for the power unit. Despite to the fact that Lewis Hamilton could only get the new development if he decides to accept further grid penalties, the Brackley-based squad is working hard on further engine upgrades as they can serve as the baseline for the 2017-specification power unit.
“We are evaluating further development. We are not yet finally decided on what to do, but we are working hard to find new items to develop for this year, an engine that is anyway a very good base for also next year’s championship,” concluded the Italian.