All save engines: Renault has to hold 6 races

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D he first engine report from FIA technical commissioner Jo Bauer after the GP Australia was still a virgin. In all 22 cars there was a '1' in all 6 engine components (ICE, MGU-K, MGU-H, turbocharger, battery, power electronics). The first changes were announced in the second report at the Bahrain GP. Fernando Alonso was the first driver to need a full set after his crash in Melbourne.

The control units on both of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen's Ferrari have already been swapped. Raikkonen also got a new turbocharger and the second MGU-K and MGU-H. The overheating turbo had caused a fire in the airbox in Melbourne.

Daniil Kvyat had to replace the battery and the associated electronics box after his defect in Australia. For the third Grand Prix in China, Sebastian Vettel has to change the Ferrari engine. Jenson Button also needs new parts in the Honda drive unit.

Renault engine has to cover 4,200 kilometers

On the other hand, many teams are on the road to economy. Renault has set itself the goal of getting all 4 drivers to the Monaco GP with the combustion engine, the turbocharger and the MGU-H. Six GP weekends without a change mean at least 4,200 kilometers. Unthinkable last year at Renault. This year, representatives from Red Bull and the works team believe it is possible.

The reason for the staying power of the first unit is the first major expansion stage that has been announced for the Canadian GP. It should bring 35 hp, significantly better drivability and almost half a second faster lap times.

Renault does not want to unpack the third engine in Montreal. And you want to use as many units as possible from the improved version for the rest of the season. There is some risk involved. 'If the expansion stage causes problems, we can't go back to the old version,' warns an engineer.

Mercedes wants to get by with 4 engines

Mercedes customers are also skimpy. But here for a different reason. Williams, Force India and Manor want to save the fifth engine. That costs an additional 1.5 million euros. 'We prefer to invest the money for the fifth engine in the car,' says Williams chief technology officer Pat Symonds.

During Friday practice in Bahrain, Force India drove on the lowest power level to give the engine the longest possible life give. That is why Nico Hülkenberg rankedand Sergio Perez also surprisingly far behind in the long runs.

The tactic has the disadvantage that the endurance runs are not entirely representative in terms of tire wear. Incidentally, Mercedes is also considering creating 21 races with 4 engines. The fifth engine should remain in the hindquarters as a secret weapon, should Ferrari become a real opponent in the final.


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