Mercedes is hopeful Lewis Hamilton will avoid an Formula 1 engine penalty after running checks on the Briton’s power unit throughout practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The recently-crowned five-time world champion was hampered by engine issues en route to winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff later revealing that only prompt work by Hamilton and his engineers prevented a terminal failure he claimed was one lap away.

Ahead of opening practice in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Mercedes confirmed the issue began after “a failure in the variable inlet system that caused unstable combustion”, leading to a full review being carried out during practice at the season finale.

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“We ran through a number of checks on Lewis's power unit and so far it all looks normal which is good news,” trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said.

“You always struggle a bit more with overheating in FP1 but other than that, the car seemed to be working ok.

“In FP2 we had a more normal programme, the car seemed a bit more competitive, especially on a long run and it feels like we've got a decent platform to work with.”

With the pressure of winning both world championships now alleviated following the team’s latest constructors’ triumph at Interlagos, Shovlin said Mercedes is determined to cap off the season in style.

“It's nice coming here and not having to worry about the championships but the team and both drivers are wanting to finish the season in style, so we'll be attacking the weekend with our normal focus and determination,” Shovlin added.

“This is a race where qualifying is very important and from the times today, it looks like it's going to be quite tight between Ferrari, Red Bull and us.

“We've definitely not got everything out of the package today so we will work hard overnight as we'll need every last bit if we want to get the cars on the front row for the race on Sunday.”

Wolff also confirmed Mercedes had tested its controversial wheel rim design - which features extra cooling holes - on Friday and would “probably” run its spacers for the entirety of the weekend now the championship is settled.

Mercedes had opted not to run the concept in recent races amid fears of a potential protest from its rival Ferrari.

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