Mercedes are still fighting to fix ‘little issues’ ahead of 2020 car release

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Mercedes are trying to overcome minor challenges to their Formula One engine development in order for them to be ready for the start of the Formula One Championship.

The German manufacturer is aiming to surpass Ferrari’s record of winning six consecutive world championships, however, according to the head of engine development department Andy Cowell, they have encountered some issues.

Cowell said: “As ever we are fighting a few little issues as we pull everything together, so there’s lots of work going into building the right spec and providing the power units to the team so that they can fire up the cars.”

Mercedes are planning to launch its 2020 challenger - the W11 - on February 14 before pre-season testing is due to take place at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona, Catalunya (home of the Spanish Grand Prix), between February 19-21 and February 26-28.

Toto Wolff’s team have enjoyed a long spell of domination since 2014, despite their rivals Ferrari and Red Bull appearing to have gradually closed the gap in recent times.

Team principal Wolff certainly believes that the 2020 campaign will be far tougher for his team, however, saying: “It is fair to say that there are three teams capable of winning races today and probably winning championships if things are being put together.”

While former championship-winning team McLaren have come off the back of their most successful season since 2012, finishing in fourth with 145 points, something that has not escaped Wolff’s notice.

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“McLaren have massively caught up, probably the steepest performance slope of all teams and will be there or thereabouts.”

The Formula One 70th anniversary season gets underway in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix on March 15.

The 2020 calendar is due to feature a record 22 races, including the returning Dutch Grand Prix and a brand new Grand Prix in Vietnam.

One thing is for sure; it is set to be a fascinating battle between the three leading teams in Formula One.

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