Lewis Hamilton demanded an explanation from Mercedes why his engines fail while the other Mercedes power units do not seem to have such a problems rate.
The Englishman’s internal combustion engine blew up spectacularly during the Malaysian Grand prix. He was leading at the time and was really angry after getting out of the car.
“On the straight, I just lost power all of a sudden. You could hear something blew and I obviously had to stop. Honestly, you’ve got to understand it from my point of view. On one side, we’ve had the most incredible success these past two years, for which I’m so grateful. These guys work so hard and we’re all feeling the pain right now. When you get out of the car – that feeling you have after leading the race and then your car fails – it’s pretty hard to say positive things at the time.”
“Mercedes have built 43 engines or however many it might be with the extra three I’ve had, and I have happen to have most of, if not all of, the failures. So, that is definitely tough to take.”
“But I have 100% confidence in these guys. It’s my fourth year with them now and the guys in the garage and back at the factories – I have 100% faith in them. I love it here and without them I would not have won these two Championships. While the struggle is real right now and has been all year, I honestly feel that it’s a test of my will, my spirit and who I am as a person to get back in and keep fighting it head on. It’s not how you fall, it’s how you get back up.”
Lewis Hamilton: “It feels a little bit like the man above, or a higher power, is intervening”
“That applies not just to me but to the guys as well. I saw tears in the eyes of my mechanics so I know that we all bear the pain. But, as I said, it’s how we re-group. We have to keep in mind what we’ve already built. While in the short term it doesn’t look good and for the long-term this year it might not be so good, there are still lots of positives. There’s still five races to go and if I can perform the way I performed this weekend there’s still everything to play for. We will learn. The guys will take the engine back and they’ll understand what happened. Every time we’ve had engine issues they’ve gone away and found out why. It puts us potentially in a better position to make sure it doesn’t happen next year.”
“All I can do is what I’ve done this weekend. Come correct, be as focused as I can possibly be, put in this kind of performance and pray that the car holds together. I still have faith and hope. That’ s a powerful thing. It feels a little bit like the man above, or a higher power, is intervening a little bit. But I feel like I’ve been blessed with the opportunity firstly to be here with so many great people around me, in this great team, to have won these last two Championships with lots and lots of victories and records that I’m breaking time and time again.”
“Whilst it does not feel great right now, I have to be grateful for all of that. If at the end of the year the higher powers don’t want me to be Champion after everything I’ve given towards it, I will have to accept that. As long as I end the year knowing that I’ve given it everything, done everything I could possibly do and that we’ve done everything we could possibly do, that’s all you can ask for. Don’t forget that I’m World Champion. I’ll be okay.”
Paddy Lowe: “That’s the nature of the sport”
Meanwhile Paddy Lowe assured Lewis Hamilton that both Mercedes drivers are on level terms concerning their power units. He explained the failed engine is from the specification introduced at Spa.
“We’ve got two full sets anyway. So he is back to level terms with Nico in effect. It’s put him back to a five-engine programme rather than six engine programme for the year”, Lowe told motorsport.com. “We’re really gutted to have distorted what we really, really want to be a fair competition across the garage. We work very, very hard to reduce the number of failures we have. We have made improvements year-on-year. Actually overall it’s the most reliable we’ve ever been, taking it as a big picture. This is the first DNF we’ve had all year in fact, if you exclude Barcelona.”
“It’s something that we’ve worked so hard to avoid, and we’ve been saying for some weeks that as this championship’s squared up for a fairly even final phase what we didn’t want to do is let one driver down. Unfortunately we’ve done that. That’s the nature of the sport. Ironically one imagines that had he left his Singapore engine in, as Nico did, he would have been fine.”