2019 Mercedes power unit an aggressive development step - Cowell

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Engine chief Andy Cowell, talks Mercedes power units, and how it is becoming ever more challenging to find further gains, now that we're up for the 6th season with power unit regulations.

2019 is the 6th Formula One season with the V6 hybrid power units on board the F1 cars, and as always, as rules remain stable, competitors evolve to similar solutions, ever closer to the optimum. As such, gains become smaller, and improvements are always more difficult to find.

Cowell underlined that the new Mercedes power unit is an aggressive development step, based on "new ideas". He does however expect the performances of each power unit to be closer than ever.

"Last year, we could see everything close up. We could see a strong fight from Ferrari. Honda continuously improving, and Renault strongly in the mix as well, winning races.

"This year it's going to be very very tight. I'm sure it'll be tight at the first race, and tight at the last race. It's a really good fight with the updates. Every race, we're trying to optimize the calibration, and we're really looking forward to the fight this year.

Mercedes' new power units have been reliable in the first week of pre-season testing. Testing will continue at Barcelona on 26 February to 1 March before the racing season starts at Melbourne, Australia.