Similar to the development on the chassis side, the all-new Power Unit – christened Mercedes-AMG F1 M11 EQ Performance – is an evolution, as the regulations stayed largely the same.
However, while the chassis regulations go into their second year of relative stability, the technical regulations around the Power Unit have not had any major changes since the introduction of the current generation of 1.6 litre V6 hybrid engines in 2014, making the hunt for performance increasingly difficult.
“We have had to develop an even wider area of the PU. We have looked at every single system,” said Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains.
“We have worked on a huge array of projects, and when summed together they will hopefully help propel the car around the track quicker and give the aerodynamics team more opportunities to improve as well.”
In the six years since its introduction, the Mercedes PU has made significant progress not just in terms of power output and reliability, but also in terms of its efficiency. From 2014 to today, the thermal efficiency has improved from about 44 percent to over 50 percent.
Thermal efficiency describes an engine’s ability to convert fuel energy into useful work. Achieving more than 50 percent means that more than half of the energy in the fuel can be used to propel the car – making the current F1 Power Unit one of the most efficient internal combustion engines ever built. A typical road car engine would usually reach about 30 percent of thermal efficiency.