Mercedes to start the season with an engine upgrade

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Formula One’s dominant team, the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport outfit will kick off its title campaign with an upgraded engine with which it aims at improving the reliability of its 2020 power unit.

Although Mercedes’ form during the pre-season testing at Barcelona was eye-wateringly promising, the team was left with some question marks regarding the reliability of its 2020 power unit. The team has significantly redesigned its engine for 2020 after Ferrari presented new benchmarks in that regard in 2019.

The winter testing indicated that Mercedes’ 2020 engine presents a significant step forward compared to its power unit from last year, but a few reliability issues have left the team concerned.

In between the first and second week of pre-season testing, Mercedes made minor tweaks to its power unit configuration, trying to improve on its cooling efficiency that had proved to be a weakness in the first three days of winter running.

The team has now revealed that it will run a modified engine specification at Spielberg compared to the one it had brought for the original season-opening Australian Grand Prix. The tweaks Mercedes has implemented to its latest power unit specification are set to improve the reliability even further.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, FIA and the teams agreed to a set of cost-cutting measures that will freeze the development of many parts of the car. The engine spec used in the season-opener is also critical as the power unit version teams use in Austria will be largely frozen for the remainder of the delayed 2020 season.

On Friday, Mercedes also revealed that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will wear black overalls in the 2020 F1 season that are designed to match the livery of the car. The British and Finnish drivers will run revised helmet designs this year, as well.

Mercedes announced this week that it will change its iconic silver livery to an all-black design. With the sudden livery change, the Brackley-based outfit wanted to support Formula One’s WeRaceAsOne campaign, showing its commitment to the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination.