Mercedes has decided that Nico Rosberg will use the engine that was feared to be damaged in FP3 in Monza on Friday in Suzuka.
The upgraded engine was not used in Singapore because the team was still not sure if it was healthy, and the risk of the German losing valuable track time was too great.
However the team is now confident that it is not damaged, but not to the extent that the unit will be used in qualifying or a race. It will thus become Rosberg’s Friday engine for the foreseeable future, and he will qualify and race in Japan with the new unit introduced in Singapore.
Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton says that Nico’s issue in Monza and his own in Singapore are not indicative of a trend, or a reflection of Mercedes pushing too hard.
“It wouldn’t make any difference,” said Hamilton. “The thing that happened in the last race wasn’t down to performance, it wasn’t down to having the engine turned up a down, it was just a part failed. So there’s no is no plan to turn it up or down, we’ll run it in exactly the same way as usual.
“We’ve got plenty of life in the engine. The performance is generally great. We’ve had 20 races or something like that without reliability issues, which is pretty amazing, considering the amount of force and the stress we put on these engines, on how far they’ve got to go with just four, so we have no concerns.”