The Mercedes Formula 1 team pushed “flat out” in its continued bid to find performance and reliability gains with its 2019 power unit over the summer break.

While team members based at its Brackley headquarters took part in the 14-day production shutdown - as required by F1 regulations - work continued on engine development at the team’s High Performance Powertrains hub in Brixworth.

Data traces suggest Ferrari boasts the most powerful and efficient power unit this year, with Mercedes, which has set the standard for engine performance throughout much of the V6 hybrid era, appearing to lose some ground to its chief rival after a change in approach to the design philosophy of its W10 challenger.

“Summer shutdown was a welcome break after some very busy weeks in July and early August, but now we're excited to go racing again,” Wolff said.

“While the majority of our colleagues in Brackley had the chance to recharge their batteries for the second half of the season, other team members were carrying the baton over the past weeks.

“Our team members in Brixworth worked straight through the F1 summer break to improve the performance and reliability of our Power Unit,” he added. “In Brackley, we used the relatively quiet days to do some work on our factory.

“It's great to come back from the summer break knowing that part of the team was still pushing flat out and we are grateful to our colleagues who kept the ball rolling while we were out of office.”

10 wins from the opening 12 rounds has enabled Mercedes to open up a comfortable buffer in both world championships going into the second half of the campaign.

Heading into this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes heads Ferrari by 150 points in the constructors’ standings, while Lewis Hamilton leads Valtteri Bottas by 62 points in the race for the drivers’ crown.

“We're leading in both championships, but it doesn't feel that way,” Wolff explained. “In the last few years, we saw teams perform very strongly after summer shutdown, so we now we need to keep pushing.

“In that respect, we're approaching the start to the second half of 2019 more like the start to a completely new season - once again we need to make sure that we leave no room for error and keep raising the bar.

“We're very excited for the upcoming months with historic races like Belgium and Italy followed by the Singapore night race and many other fantastic events. The next stop takes us to Spa, one of the most iconic circuits on the calendar.

“Finding the right set-up is tricky because the track has a challenging mix of long straights, a wide range of corner speeds and also considerable elevation changes.

“The weather can also be somewhat unpredictable in the Ardennes which can make the sessions very interesting. We're looking forward to the fight.”



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