Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn is predicting engine failures could become quite common in 2014 as the teams and engine makers get to grips with F1's new V6 turbo units.
"We will go back to a time such as 20 years ago," Mercedes team boss Brawn is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
"The technology is so complex that I expect a lot of failures. So there will be a new element of surprise," he predicted.
Indeed during F1's V12 and V10 period when engines were unregulated failures were quite common however since caps on engine revs were introduced and development frozen under the V8 rules engines have become much more reliable.
Despite that the new units - which will be limited to 13,000rpm - are expected to be the biggest hurdle teams have to overcome next season.
Another factor that could come into play is the longer life span the new engines will have with teams limited to just five per car as opposed to the current eight.
"And the failures will be not just the engines, but the individual components," he said.
Indeed any failures of turbochargers or batteries will result in the same 10-place grid drop imposed if a driver has to go above the allocated number of engines.
Staying at Mercedes and the teams most recent addition Paddy Lowe has spoken about the high number of top designers and engineers working at the Brackley based team insisting it is not a case of 'too many cooks'.
He said: "Actually it's perfect," he had said, "as every one of us has an unique task."
While Lowe is yet to be assigned a task he is working alongside Brawn and Director Toto Wolff at the top of Mercedes' hierarchy.
"If people say there are too many technical directors at Mercedes," he is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace, "all I can say is that it is working for them.
"Mercedes has made fantastic progress in the last 12 months. What's wrong with that?
"We do have a wide and deep range of senior people at Mercedes, but we are all paid employees respecting the talents of the others.
"There is a good division of efforts, and it's working really well."
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