SA-born mechanical engineer joins Mercedes F1's powertrain division ahead of new season

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Shau Mafuna
Shau Mafuna
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• Shau Mafuna joined the Mercedes-AMG F1 team in November 2021.

• Mafuna is a member of the powertrain division and will work on engines that will power the four Mercedes-powered teams.

• Mafuna is a qualified mechanical engineer.

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The Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team expanded their staff complement with the appointment of several new members ahead of the new F1 season. One of the new employees is South African-born Shau Mafuna, who joined the team in November 2021 as a mechanical engineer.

Mafuna will join the F1 team's powertrain division - Mercedes-AMG High-Performance Powertrains - joining the team that supplies engines to the four teams that Mercedes-AMG powers. These teams are Mercedes-AMG, Aston Martin, McLaren, and Williams. Naturally, Mafuna will be directly involved with the powertrains fitted to Lewis Hamilton's F1 car this year.

Mafuna said on his Instagram account: "As much as I may be lost for words at this point, I can finally announce that I have managed to secure a full-time role as a Mechanical Engineer at Mercedes-AMG High-Performance Powertrains in the F1 division! This is a dream that a certain few know how hard we have pushed to reach this position! The last 12 months on the Work Experience Academy have been challenging but insightful and have prepared me to take up the permanent role with a lot more confidence."

A clean slate in 2022

2022 will prove to be a new challenge for F1 teams and drivers. This year, the sport will introduce new regulations and cars aimed at promoting closer racing and overtaking. Together with a US $145 million budget cap, the agreed-upon changes could see some smaller teams assert themselves in the championship race.

For Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG, along with Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, 2022 could be a challenge, given that much of their attention and resources went into the 2021 season. The two teams were embroiled in a championship battle throughout 2021, culminating in a scintillating last-lap dash to the F1 Drivers' title - which Verstappen won.

Incidentally, while these two teams duelled away, it left room for other teams to shift their focus to 2022. It is why F1 fans are particularly looking forward to the new season as it can open up the championship battle and possibly assert new faces into the title race.

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