Mar.5 (GMM/ Niki Lauda has revealed that Mercedes’ new turbo V6 engine produces “about 580″ horse power.

It is a rare admission in the highly-secretive world of formula one, but field-leading Mercedes’ F1 chairman wasn’t giving the whole game away.

Asked to put a number on the German marque’s early-season superiority, Lauda told Austrian Servus TV: “The fuel engine is about 580 horse power.

“Then there is the electrical side,” he added, without elaborating.

It is known that the energy-recovery or ‘ERS’ side of the ‘power unit’ adds 160 horse power to the equation, but Lauda’s figures just made fellow Austrian Dr Helmut Marko – of the struggling world champions Red Bull – grin.

“Interesting data,” Marko smiled. “I would be happy if I had 580hp.”