The Secret To Mercedes’ F1 Success?

As anyone who’s been following the new season of Formula 1 will know, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 has quickly established itself as the team to beat in 2014. Not only that though, but the Mercedes PU106A Hybrid power unit that motivates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s cars is the same one used by Force India-Mercedes and McLaren-Mercedes – and they currently hold second and third spots in the constructor standings respectively too. In fact, out of the nine podium places won over the course of the first three events of the 2014 season, the PU106A Hybrid has been behind eight of them.

Ahead of this coming weekend’s UBS Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit, the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team has released this new video clip which goes some way in explaining many of the technical highlights of the new-generation 1.6L V6 turbocharged hybrid power unit being used in its F1 W05 chassis. What makes this, like previous clips from the team, even more interesting though, is that what’s being illustrated somewhat contradicts what seems to have been uncovered by F1 Racing TRE’s Craig Scarborough, and more recently Motor Sport magazine and Sky F1 reporter, Mark Hughes.

Why? Because Scarborough and Hughes both suggest that Mercedes have split its  turbocharger unit into two distinct pieces – the turbine maintaining its accepted position at the rear of the engine, but the compressor and MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit – Heat) assembly being moved all the way up to the front of the motor. In this scenario both the compressor and turbine sides of the turbo are connected via a long shaft that runs directly through the engine’s vee cavity. As illustrated by the F1 Racing TRE clip (skip to 5:15 to cut to the nitty gritty), and a technical segment shown on Sky F1 during the last race, there are a number of benefits to this ingenious design and packaging. That includes a compressor that does not have to contend with the immense heat generated by the exhaust-driven turbine, and much shorter pipework which reduces turbo lag and improves drivability as a result. Pretty cool, huh?

So what’s the truth? Right now that Mercedes are well on their way to season domination. That’s one thing we know… officially.

Brad Lord

Photo: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

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there is already a photo on the net that clearly shows a split turbo set up. this is up there with the williams active suspension and the redbull blown diffuser. congrats mercedes


Knowing leverage gases, achieve better performance .... Behold hybrid Power Unit


and what about this split turbo sistem?

is not showed in that video, its really like this?


Oh dear. Yes this is correct, but no it want revealed ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix and neither was it a Sky Sports exclusive as they stated.
Craig Scarborough released this video on his YouTube channel ahead of the season opening round at Melbourne. He even attributed the new to another source but explained it in his own words.
This is not news Speedhunters!


SiuX It's a fairly complex turbo, but  it isn't out of regulation ... Just what makes this turbo system, is to cut air travel introduced to achieve a lower temperature loss journey. However, so that you can see in the video, Mercedes Benz engine goes retarded and gearbox forward, for better weight distribution or improve the center of gravity.


@tegboy  is this the pic you're talking about, for the split turbo?      i cant find the active suspension. would be great to see.


All Mercedes powered teams have this Power Unit configuration. The secret to the works Mercedes team's success is its early integration of the power unit into the overall car's design, whereas its customers (McLaren, Williams, Force India) have had presumably only rough dimensions to work with and little details on packaging. 

If Mercedes was coy, it would probably have sandbagged the dimensions and specs of the engines even to its customers in order to really have a lasting advantage for the season.


was wondering for years  when someone would do something like this to turbos by separating them ...let piping eliminate turbo lag .


wheatgod  Lol mad max batteries would suck, you'd probably have to hand crank it like those camping flashlights and radios. And I agree about the new f1 regs, kers and ters is ridiculously over-hyped. F1 cars in the 80s had turbos too and were making more power.


BL36CH  The williams active suspension was in '92 and it gave Nigel Mansell the championship, the Williams FW15c car is what also made Senna jump ship from McLaren, unfortunately the actuve susension was banned the next season.


The Mercedes domninance is more than just the split turbo, its the benefits that arise around it that make the car competitive. While the turbo lag decrease because of shorter intercooler pipes was already stated, the size of the intercoolers themselves have also been substantially reduced in size because of the reduction of heat soak. This allows the side pods to be drastically smaller than the rest of the field giving them a substantial aerodynamic advantage as well. Finally the reduced heat at the turbine in the rear and its much smaller size compared to a single turbo unit with the MGU-H, allows Mercedes to move the transmission farther forward and closer to the center of gravity than any other team, this advantage goes without saying considering the size and mass of the 8 gear sequential transaxle. All in all while the turbo split main advantage is reducing turbo lag, its unintended benefits are better cornering, and a more slippery car. End rant. lol


That new Petronas oil sounds interesting.


Split turbo or not, they did mention that the turbo has an electric motor/generator around it. Says they use it to increase spool up time, among other things. This is a very intelligent design.


Well that just blew my mind?!

Gianluca FairladyZ

Mercedes just made their homework right! That's it, and nothing else matters...


Cool. Can't wait till the next race, but who the hell still uses a blackberry?


Even it seems very cool with a turbocharged,but I do not like the sound of turbo in F1.....sounds like the it will be drift in the next corner...