In the adrenaline fueled aftermath of losing his 22-second lead, Lewis Hamilton has made some bold claims against his Mercedes team with regards to engine and attrition.
After the race, Hamilton said,
“Something just doesn’t feel right.
My questions are to Mercedes — we have lost so many engines …. Someone has to give me some answers and it is not acceptable. Something or someone doesn’t want me to win this year.”
– Lewis Hamilton
UPDATE: Unexpected mechanical failure of the ICE (internal combustion engine) for @LewisHamilton
No prior warning signs. It just… went…
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 2, 2016
There have been a total of 43 Mercedes engines used over the 2016 season, but it seems to be that Hamilton’s engines have been the only ones to fail. Unlucky? Some, including Hamilton, clearly feel that there’s a wider conspiracy.
The Brit continued,
“It’s a brand new engine. I’ve done one race with it. I did P3 with it and qualifying, it’s a brand new engine out of the new three that I had.
It is what it is and we’ll just move forwards and try to continue to drive as we have this weekend but it’s just odd. There’s been 43 engines from Mercedes and only mine have gone.”
– Lewis Hamilton
📻 HAM: "Ahhhhh NO…NO!"
22.7 seconds ahead
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 2, 2016
Mercedes non-exec Niki Lauda insists that there is nothing shifty going on behind the scenes and replied to Hamilton’s emotional comments with,
“I’m really upset about myself and my organisation because we shouldn’t let him down with an engine failure. Engine failures can happen but we have to analyse more carefully what went wrong.
It was a fairly new engine, so it was not something old we put in his car, so we did everything possible to make him finish all the races. What went wrong? I do not know, we will find out and correct it. I feel personally very sorry about him and these things can happen.
I can convince him and say certainly we do nothing against him. We are people working for him, we are proud of him and these things happen.
– Niki Lauda
Lewis Hamilton’s massive lack of luck this season in the engine department might be the breaking point between team and driver. If he doesn’t trust his own team, surely he’ll start looking elsewhere for a drive.