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Mercedes engines are ‘waiting for their lives’, admits Toto Wolff as teams penalize on the grid

Mercedes engines are ‘holding out for life’, admits team boss Toto Wolff, as Williams and Aston Martin join Valtteri Bottas in receiving grid penalties due to supplier reliability issues ahead of the EE Grand Prix. USA

  • Toto Wolff admits Mercedes is experiencing major engine problems
  • Three of the four manufacturers using Mercedes power are receiving engine penalties
  • Sebastian Vettel and George Russell will have to start from the back of the grid
  • Valtteri Bottas, meanwhile, is in his sixth ICE ahead of the US Grand Prix.


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Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes is ‘sticking with it for life’ supplying engines to its customer teams.

On the first day of the United States Grand Prix weekend, it was announced that three of the four manufacturers using Mercedes’ power would receive engine penalties.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Williams’ George Russell will have to start from the back of the grid with their two cars equipped with their fourth internal combustion engine (ICE) of the season.

Team boss Toto Wolff has admitted Mercedes engines are 'clinging to life'

Team boss Toto Wolff has admitted Mercedes engines are ‘clinging to life’

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel has received a grid penalty for the US Grand Prix.

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel has received a grid penalty for the US Grand Prix.

Williams' George Russel has also received a grid penalty.

Williams' George Russel has also received a grid penalty.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (L) and Williams’ George Russell (R) will have to start from the back of the grid.

Also, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas is now on his sixth ICE, which is double the number allowed. As a result, he will start five places below the position in which he is classified, as he is sanctioned with a penalty for the third time in four races.

McLaren is the only Mercedes-powered team that hasn’t suffered so far in America, and Wolff admitted it’s a tough situation.

Wolff acknowledged that Mercedes is suffering when it comes to reliability and emphasized that his team is trying to address the issues even though they don’t fully understand them.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas is now on his sixth internal combustion engine, which is double the number allowed.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas is now on his sixth internal combustion engine, which is double the number allowed.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas is now on his sixth internal combustion engine, which is double the number allowed.

As reported by Planet F1, Wolff said: ‘I think you see that we are suffering with reliability this year.

‘We’re going to sixth engine, I think it’s for Valtteri, and it’s not something we choose to do.

‘On the contrary, we are trying to overcome the problems and we have not understood [them] completely.

“I think we’re one step closer now, so it’s not always literally easy to have the engines.

“We are enduring life in supplying all customers and that is not trivial.”

It’s a major problem for Mercedes, and Wolff admits that the problem has hurt his hopes of retaining his two world titles and has had a major effect on the drivers’ career.

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton received a 10-place grid penalty in the final race in Turkey.

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton received a 10-place grid penalty in the final race in Turkey.

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton received a 10-place grid penalty in the final race in Turkey.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is six points behind leader Max Verstappen after being hit with a 10-place grid penalty in the final race in Turkey.

Wolff said: ‘I think when you look at Monza, for example, Valtteri had to start from behind and we are losing points along the way.

“We’re trying to drive performance every year, and this year we’ve reached a point where that has cost us points.” For the past seven or eight years, that mindset has won us races and championships.

“So I would have expected fewer penalties and use fewer engines, but this year it has affected us a lot.

“McLaren and Aston Martin are more fortunate and in that sense we just have to take it seriously and do the best job possible.”

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