The Mercedes team has identified the cause of George Russell’s retirement at the Australian Grand Prix. The driver of the German racing team had a very strong start to the race, but it ended on the seventeenth lap after flames came out of his Mercedes car. This causes some concerns about the reliability of the power source, because customer team McLaren had a lot of problems in Bahrain.
Russell had passed Max Verstappen at the start of the race in Albert Park and thus took the lead of the race. An awkwardly timed red flag left the driver in midfield as he had already pitted. Shortly after the restart, the race was over for the young Brit when his engine failed. Mercedes has found out that it is a problem with one of the cylinders, writes the Italian branch of Motorsport.com. However, the team does not know what the cause of the problem is.
Russell’s car will be fitted with a new power unit for the upcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which takes place in two weeks. This is only the second engine the driver will use, so there will be no grid penalties for Russell and Mercedes. However, the question marks surrounding the reliability remain. After all, it cannot be ruled out that the drivers of the eight-time constructors champion will be affected by this problem again.
Problems McLaren provide additional headaches
Mercedes had an excellent season in terms of reliability in 2022. Lewis Hamilton’s retirement from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the only time a Mercedes driver had to deal with technical problems. This season, Russell is the first victim, but customer team McLaren has already gone wrong in Bahrain. As a result, the British team had to put in a new engine in Jeddah. So there is still work to be done on the reliability of the Mercedes engine.