Formula 1 title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are set to take on engine upgrades from Ferrari and Mercedes respectively at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Both teams are expected to bring their latest-spec power units to Spa as the battle for supremacy at the top of F1’s pecking order resumes following the summer break, with Mercedes currently holding a 10-point advantage over the Scuderia.

Ferrari has enjoyed a significant step forward in engine performance this season, leading rival teams to believe it has now surpassed Mercedes power - which had previously dominated the V6 hybrid era.

5774263478001

CrashTV: 

In a bid to get back on level terms with the Italian squad, Mercedes has brought its final engine upgrade of the season to Belgium and will make a call on whether to run the new power unit on Friday morning.

"Naturally, every upgrade that we have and every opportunity we have for an upgrade is important," Hamilton, who heads Vettel by 24 points in the championship standings, explained.

"These next two weekends are the two big power circuits, and you've seen how big an impact the power can make with Ferrari taking a big step around Austria, and that wasn't even a new power unit.

"This weekend I think they have got a new power unit, we have got a new power unit, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against each other. Naturally, I've got a lot of confidence in ours."

Vettel said Ferrari will also introduce a new engine in Spa during his media session on Thursday, as he placed emphasis on the importance of retaining its apparent speed advantage over Mercedes.

If Mercedes opts to proceed with its new engine, it will likely result in a back-of-the-grid start for Valtteri Bottas, who is on the verge of exceeding his permitted allocation of power unit components for 2018. 

The Finn moved onto his third engine of the season at Silverstone as a precautionary measure following his retirement in Austria, with Mercedes concerned about potential damage to his previous power unit.

"I think tomorrow morning we are going to know 100 percent with which engine we are going to start and then we will see what the situation is,” Bottas said.

“If I do need to take a new engine there is going to be a penalty, but that's something we will find out tomorrow. In any case, Spa is one of the best places to take it because you can overtake."

Kimi Raikkonen will also be hit with a grid penalty when he takes on a new engine following a failure in Spain, while Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg is another driver set to incur a grid penalty this weekend after encountering an issue in Hungary.

Comments

Loading Comments...