The new power unit M09 EQ Power+ has been developed to meet substantial changes in the Sporting Regulations for the 2018 season. The reduction in the number of power unit components that can be used per driver per season without incurring grid penalties meant that durability had to be extended to withstand the higher distances the hardware now has to run.
The biggest challenge the team got is lifting the durability limit with the challenge of racing just three engines per driver per championship and two ERS systems. That’s a 40 per cent increase in the distance that the hardware needs to do for this year compared with last year. The team focussed on trying to increase the life of the hardware without losing performance.
In addition to the changes coming from the new Sporting Regulations, the team of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains sought to improve the power unit in other areas as well. The team has been working very closely with their colleagues in Brackley, trying to understand the best overall integration in the chassis, the transmission and the aerodynamic surfaces. They have also been working on combustion efficiency and hardware friction reduction in partnership with Petronas.