Mercedes identifies reliability issues

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff explained the technical problems which forced both its cars to retire from yesterday’ Austrian Grand Prix, leading to the team’s first double-retirement since the 2016 Spanish GP.

"For me, [this is] the most painful day in my years at Mercedes, worse than Barcelona,” said the Austrian Toto Wolff after the race.

Mercedes started yesterday’s 31st Austrian GP from the front row after a very impressive qualifying showing. Despite to a rather chaotic start, Mercedes regained the double lead and was heading for a commanding victory, controlling its pace in the early stages of the race.

However, Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire from the race on lap 14 while Lewis Hamilton’s race ended on lap 63 due to a technical problem. Both cars experienced technical gremlins of different natures which Mercedes has not had any issues with so far.

"We had a hydraulic leak that was [on] the steering of Valtteri and we had a drop in fuel pressure on Lewis's car, which was linked to the fuel system,” Wollf commented on the cause of the two retirements.

Mercedes introduced its second-specification engine in the previous round, the French Grand Prix. The new unit arrived one race later than planned because doubts regarding the reliability of the upgraded PU held its introduction back. Following Mercedes’ first analysis, the team thinks yesterday’s technical glitches are not related to the latest engine development.

"It's nothing to do with the reliability of the engine as far as we can see. This is our current understanding. So, no regrets on introducing the engine,” concluded Wolff.