Barcelona Testing – Mercedes have revealed that they have a brand new MGU-K and MGU-H system for the 2017 season.
The world champions have further upgraded their engine with a new energy recovery and turbo system in reaction to the abolishment of the token system which restricted engine development.
“There’s improvements in the high-power switches, so they are more efficient,” said Andy Cowell, Managing Director at Mercedes High Performance Powertrains.
“There are several improvements on reliability within the box, which means we can run it harder for longer. We are not as vulnerable to having to de-rate the system for cooling reasons because of heating effects within the module.
“The MGU-H is completely new as a consequence of the drive-cycle change. And the MGU-K is new as well. I think the cables are the same – but the length has changed!”
Cowell added that increased full throttle time, due to the increase in downforce for 2017, is further reason for the development of the hybrid systems.
“The increase in aerodynamic load and grip from the tyre means that the full throttle time has increased considerably, so we’ve got an extra ten percent of the lap at full throttle – over five seconds extra at full throttle – which is challenging for all the parts within the engine, not only in terms of enduring that extra load every lap but also in managing the heat flow.
“And the hybrid system, as well; there’s only so many megajoules per lap that you can deploy if the full throttle time goes up.
“We need to be careful that the point that you de-rate the MGU-K doesn’t become too early on the straight, that it becomes a potential weakness for people to overtake you at the end of the straight. So many, many challenges all coming from the chassis-based regulations.”
Ferrari have made conceptual and layout changes to their power unit for 2017, and Honda have adopted Mercedes’ split turbo design.
Renault have completely redesigned their power unit, saying they reached the end of development with their concept design. They believed their new engine will be worth three tenths of a second.