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F1 Italian Grand Prix: We pushed power unit too hard - Wolff

Mercedes apologises to Nico Rosberg for Italian Grand Prix engine failure, admits PU pushed too far
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has admitted that they pushed Nico Rosberg's power unit too hard in the Italian Grand Prix.

After a poor start, Rosberg was running third in Sunday's race and closing on Sebastien Vettel when his engine let go with two laps remaining.

It was the German's – and Mercedes' – first DNF of the season and afterwards Wolff said they should have known better. Indeed the power unit had already done five races, Rosberg having to revert to it ahead of qualifying the day before when the upgraded unit developed an issue.

“Nico climbed back through the field thanks to strong pace and some great work on the pit wall, when he made an aggressive early stop to undercut both Williams cars in front of him - with a great stop from the boys. That put him in free air and he started a long charge to hunt down Vettel in front. P2 looked possible and Nico was pushing hard to close in - we pushed the power unit very hard and, in hindsight, too far for the high mileage it had,” Wolff confirmed.

“It's a bitter pill to lose a podium finish just three laps from the end and with P2 in your sights.”

The result leaves Rosberg a sizeable 53 points – more than two races wins – behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship, with seven races remaining, although the German has vowed not to give up.

Meanwhile, Mercedes executive director technical, Paddy Lowe was apologetic for the power unit problems on both race day and the day before.

“The weekend first started to unravel for Nico on Saturday with the failure of a component which contaminated his engine, forcing him to run a Power Unit which had already competed in five race weekends,” Lowe added.

“The power loss from the age of the engine likely cost him a front row grid slot in qualifying and had then clearly been pushed too far in undertaking a sixth race on Sunday. He produced a fantastic recovery drive after a tough start and deserved a result, so our apologies once again to him. We will learn a lot of lessons from this weekend to take into the coming races.”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
05.09.2015 - Free Practice 3, Nikki Lauda (AU), Mercedes and Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
24.07.2015 - Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Nikki Lauda (AU), Mercedes
06.09.2015 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
06.09.2015 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
05.09.2015 - Qualifying, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
05.09.2015 - Free Practice 3, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
10.04.2015 - Free Practice 1, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director

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September 07, 2015 7:40 PM

You do get the feeling at the debrief when the team discuss how they got it wrong using an engine that had done so many miles was bound to end in tears it will have ended by someone saying but it was only Nico so it doesn't really matter, then they went off to celebrate Lulu's victory.


September 07, 2015 5:09 PM

what i cannot understand is why they chose to use a unit past its sell-by date, when they had several other low mileage units to use. it is almost as if they wanted nico to suffer "in the interests of ascertaining longetivity of the pu" i have said it before and i dont apologise for it...merc have brought f1 into serious disrepute.

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