Having frozen all engine development for the foreseeable future, how do the Formula 1 power unit manufacturers rank following the Bahrain Grand Prix?
The new era of Formula 1 has delivered even more than promised, with a complete reordering of the grid along with a new dynamic among power-unit manufacturers. This new season promised to be one of the most unpredictable seasons in recent history, and the start of it lived up to every bit of hype over the past three months.
One of the most influential takeaways from the first race weekend was the new reality of engine power and how the standings among some of Formula 1’s biggest technical powerhouses have altered.
Unable to accurately judge the influence of the aero packages on performance quite yet and with plenty of distance to cover in regard to technical development, one of the few things we can judge with certainty is how each power unit manufacturer improved from last season with the implementation of E10 fuel.
Formula 1 power unit rankings: No. 4 – Mercedes
Despite pulling a podium finish out of the bag with a pair of Red Bull retirements and a thorough effort by Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes finally appear off of the leading pace for the first time since 2013.
Having dealt with a number of aerodynamic issues, as told in excess by Hamilton and George Russell throughout preseason testing, the Mercedes carried the same struggles as well as a tangible deficit on the lengthy straights of Bahrain International Circuit.
The most concerning piece of information about the Mercedes power unit though is the performances (or lack of) of their customer teams. The six Williams, McLaren, and Aston Martin drivers were the last to finish on the track, and with a clear pace deficit to the next car ahead of them.
The next car up the road was the Haas of Mick Schumacher, a car that has plenty of pace to be unlocked once his side of the garage finds the right setup.
If it were only to be one or two of the Mercedes customer teams, the worries could be set aside under the assumption of a sub-par aero package. But with it being all three, this spells trouble for Mercedes and its customers entering the engine freeze that is projected to be in place until the end of the 2025 season.