Mercedes’ V6 turbo hybrid power unit is on the verge of reaching the 1000bhp milestone, according to the team’s engine boss Andy Cowell.

Since the advent of the hybrid era in F1, the German manufacturer has been the dominant force in Formula 1, thanks to its engineering excellence which has brought the Silver Arrows team four driver and constructor world titles.

Ongoing development of its engine has now put the 1000bhp threshold within reach of the unit.

“We’re close,” Cowell told “I’m sure that’ll happen at some point.”

  • Wolff targets ‘less vicious’ Mercedes car for 2018

While the unit’s sheer power output is an impressive feat, Mercedes has also made great strides in terms of thermal efficiency, a measure which rates an engine’s efficiency according to the amount of heat supplied to it.

Engineers are particularly attentive to thermal efficiency because of F1’s limited fuel-flow rate set by the regulations at 100kg/hour.

Mercedes’ engine now runs on the dyno with 50 percent thermal efficiency, but Cowell believes that number could be transferred from the dyno to the track in the early part of next year.

“We need to see how the power unit development goes through the winter and our prove-out goes through the winter, and it’s a balance with the car as well.

“There are engines running on the dyno – that’s one thing.

“When you go to total car lap time, that’s the bit where there’s work being done to improve the technology on the car to enhance both aerodynamic and power unit performance.

“Let’s see how it all works out.”

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter