Hamilton questions Mercedes over engine issues
An angry Lewis Hamilton is demanding answers from his Mercedes team after an engine failure severely dented his championship bid at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion seemed on course to score a comfortable victory in Sepang when his engine went up in smoke on lap 41.
Hamilton has been plagued by reliability woes this season with the latest ultimately forcing him to retire from the race and fall 23 points behind his team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished third.
A disgruntled Hamilton was perplexed by the failures he has suffered and is desperate for answers from his team.
“My question is to Mercedes. We have so many engines made, but mine are the only ones failing this year,” Hamilton told the BBC.
“Someone needs to give me some answers because this is not acceptable.
“We are fighting for the championship and only my engines are failing. It does not sit right with me.”
The three-time world champion admits his title hopes have suffered a severe setback, but remains confident he can recover the deficit to Rosberg in the final five races.
“It is what it is, we’ll just move forward and try to continue to drive as we have this weekend,” he told television crews.
“Right now, I don’t even know if my car is going to make it.
“These next five races, I know that I’ve got it in us, my engineers and my mechanics. I know we’ve got it in us.
“But who knows what those next engines that I have are going to do. So I’m just going to keep my head down and hope for the best.
“There’s not really much to do. I’ve just got to move on. The guys did a fantastic job this weekend, and we did everything we could. I did everything I could.”
Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe was at a loss to explain the run of failures Hamilton has suffered this year.
“It’s difficult, this can be a very harsh sport but no failure is planned,” Lowe told Sky Sports F1.
“We work as hard as we can to increase reliability and, in fact, we have year on year increased reliability.
“But for some reason, which is completely unrelated to any intention or any individual performance a number of things have fallen on Lewis’s car this year.
“Far more than any other car. We have eight Mercedes power units in the pitlane.
“For some reason, which honestly we have investigated, there is no pattern that would link that to why it should fall on Lewis’s car.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s demise played into the hands of Rosberg, who thought his race was over after a Turn 1 clash on the opening lap with Sebastian Vettel.
“I just got T-boned by a four-time world champion out of control,” said Rosberg.
“I thought it was all over. I’m happy to be able to fight back all the way to the podium. In general I wish for a better day but that is how it is sometimes.
“It is a good moment and I’m looking forward to the next one where I can go full attack.”