GAME FACE: Felipe Massa listens intently to one of his Williams' colleagues. Image: AFP / William West.
MELBOURNE, England - Mercedes has hit back at claims that it is not supplying the same specification of engine to its F1 customers.
Williams' Felipe Massa was the fastest non-works Mercedes driver in qualifying in Australia but the gap to Lewis Hamilton's pole time was 1.4 seconds.
Brazilian Massa said he suspected Mercedes might be supplying inferior equipment to teams other than its namesake.
"If we have the same engine the difference should be in the car," he said. "I hope we have the same engine. I believe we have the same engine, so it's the car.
"Maybe," he added.
That was on Saturday. After the race Massa admitted he still had his doubts. "I cannot say 100%" that the engines in the Mercedes and the Williams are the same," he was quoted as saying.
According to Mercedes' engine boss Andy Cowell, however, the works and customer engines are exactly the same.
"They all have the same engines," he told Speed Week. "First, that way the engineers are able to learn the most; secondly, we owe that (service) to our customers.
"Third," Cowell explained, "it would be too costly from a parts point of view to go around with different engine specifications."
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