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Chief strategist says Mercedes must juggle performance and reliability to remain in title race

Mercedes should juggle efficiency and reliability for the remainder of the season as a result of any retirement could be “catastrophic” for its Formulation One title hopes, chief strategist James Vowles mentioned Thursday.

He added that he was assured latest engine modifications, which got here with penalties, for each seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas would repay in the long run.

Hamilton is 12 factors behind Purple Bull’s Max Verstappen with 5 races remaining whereas Mercedes is 23 factors forward of Purple Bull within the constructors’ championship after final Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix.

Hamilton took a 10-place grid penalty in Turkey this month for exceeding his engine allocation for the season, and should need to take one other amid lingering issues in regards to the Mercedes energy unit’s reliability.

Bottas has taken three hits already together with 5 locations on the grid in Texas, and is now on his sixth engine for the season. Drivers are allowed solely three with out penalties.

“We’re balancing efficiency versus reliability to the tip of the season,” Vowles mentioned in a U.S. Grand Prix video debrief on the group’s YouTube channel.

“One failure to complete a race, be it due to a chassis or energy unit fault, could be catastrophic for the championship.

“Within the case of Valtteri, that meant taking one additional ICE (engine) to verify we had completely the very best compromise.

“As as to whether it improved his efficiency, sure, a small quantity however it’s extra in regards to the stability throughout the rest of the season than one occasion. So this modification, as painful because it was throughout the Austin Grand Prix, will really pay dividends throughout the following few races.”

Verstappen gained in Austin, the Dutch driver celebrating his eighth win in 17 races.

Hamilton, the game’s most profitable driver of all time, has gained 5 to date this yr.

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