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Engine could be Mercedes' Achilles heel

:Headline: Engine could be Mercedes' Achilles heel:
Although Mercedes' new DAS-equipped 2020 car has wowed onlookers in Barcelona, the Achilles heel may be the engine.

Although Mercedes' new DAS-equipped 2020 car has wowed onlookers in Barcelona, the Achilles heel may be the engine.

Engine customer Williams expressed frustration this week about repeated problems with the 2020 Mercedes engine in testing.

Appearing to confirm that there may be a deeper problem, Lewis Hamilton stopped on track in the works car on Thursday with an oil pressure problem.

Some are wondering if the German marque is struggling with the clampdown on the oil consumption rules, as the FIA tries to end the exploitation of this grey area.

"It is a real challenge," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted to Auto Motor und Sport.

Ferrari has also had an oil-related problem with its 2020 engine in Barcelona, but Mattia Binotto insisted: "The problem is under control."

But with Ferrari customers Alfa Romeo and Haas faster in a straight line, some suspect the Maranello based team is deliberately running in lower power modes during testing.

Sebastian Vettel, however - finally at the top of the timesheets on Thursday - revealed: "We have also turned up the performance now and then, but in laps when no one was looking."

Red Bull-Honda boss Christian Horner said: "It looks like they are hiding until the end.

"They raised expectations so high last year that they seem to be doing the exact opposite this time."

For its part, Ferrari denies it is sandbagging: "It is not true that we have reduced our performance," said boss Binotto.

Vettel commented: "I stick to the fact that the car generally feels better, but we are generating too much drag so we are not as fast on the straights as we want.

"Mercedes appears to be in a fairly comfortable position, but we are a strong team as well and we can react."

Wolff does not even disagree with that, declaring: "Red Bull is not playing with the fuel, so it's easier to analyse them.

"We believe they may be a little stronger than Ferrari but we'll see in Melbourne."

Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes, agrees that it is very difficult to read into the 2020 pecking order.

"Only the teams themselves know exactly what they have up their sleeves," said the Finn.

"Formula 1 can be a strange game, so you shouldn't take the comments of the people at tests too seriously."

Finally, having kept an otherwise low profile this winter, Max Verstappen has been told by his Red Bull boss Dr Helmut Marko to stop spinning the car.

"I told him that five is enough now," Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.com.
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last updated article - 2020-02-28 08:25:32:
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3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
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5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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