Mercedes is yet to determine the reasons behind its Formula 1 engine failures during the Belgian Grand Prix.

The German manufacturer introduced its latest power unit in Belgium but faced immediate reliability problems when Sergio Perez suffered a failure of his new-spec unit in second practice, resulting in Racing Point switching back to an older Mercedes engine for the remainder of the weekend.

A second Mercedes failure occurred early in qualifying in Q1 when Robert Kubica’s Williams came to a halt with plumes of smoke pouring out of the back of his FW42.

Despite the new engine, Mercedes was unable to match Ferrari’s superior straight-line speed, with team boss Toto Wolff saying its performance deficit left him knowing “a little bit” how Red Bull felt amid its struggles at the start of the V6 hybrid era.

“I know now a little bit how Red Bull felt in 2014 and 2015 when you are on the back foot on the straights,” Wolff said.

“[It was] not a good weekend. We introduced Phase 3 of our power unit and we had two failures on Checo’s [Sergio Perez] and Robert’s [Kubica] cars which are not understood.

“It didn’t compromise us massively, it did a tiny bit. We were not taking any risks in there race but it was certainly not a comfortable situation because the failures looked to be different and are not analysed of yet and understood.”

Ferrari also suffered a failure on one of its new power inits used by customer team Alfa Romeo during qualifying on Antonio Giovinazzi’s car.

Scuderia boss Mattia Binotto admitted was a concern for his side ahead of the works’ team’s ntroduction of the new engine at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.



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