George Russell’s engine-related retirement from last Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix will have no knock-on effects for the last two races of the Formula One season, Mercedes said in a team debrief on Wednesday.
The Briton was retired at Interlagos as a precaution after rising temperatures in the power unit risked failure and wider damage to the car.
Mercedes head of trackside performance Riccardo Musconi said Russell was always scheduled to have a different power unit for Las Vegas and the Abu Dhabi season-ender.
“To avoid a possible fire and damage to other parts of the car, the logical conclusion was to retire the car,” he added.
“He will be on a different power unit for the final two races so there is no issue from that point of view.”
Mercedes suffered a dismal weekend at Interlagos, their worst of the season after arriving with hopes of repeating last year’s one-two win. Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton was eighth.
That 2022 Interlagos victory remains the once-dominant former champions’ most recent, with Red Bull winning 19 of 20 races so far this season and Ferrari the other.
Musconi said Hamilton’s disqualification from second place in last month’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin for excessive wear of the under-car plank might have contributed to the lack of pace, without being the determining factor.
“We were perhaps too conservative with the ride heights after Austin,” he explained. “Part of the answer may be there, but we don’t think that explains the full picture as we saw it unfolding at the weekend.” REUTERS
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