Lewis Hamilton‘s catastrophic engine failure in the Malaysian Grand Prix could be trouble for Mercedes teams. The upcoming Japanese Grand Prix could either make or break the Championship race. The Mercedes engine failure is being attributed to crankshaft bearing failure. Teams using Mercedes engines will continue to use their Malaysian Grand Prix power units as a precaution.
Mercedes Engine Failure Cause Revealed, Precautions Taken
Implications for Japanese Grand Prix
The failure has Mercedes urging associated teams to be cautious in Japan. These teams include Manor, Williams, and Force India. The threat of engine failure has yet to slow down Mercedes’ own cars. Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg remain in control of FP2, with Rosberg fastest overall. Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez also within the top 10 fastest times.
Teams will remain cautious until Hamilton’s failed engine has been completely analysed. If the changes do effect Mercedes, Red Bull Racing could be on a winning streak. With Ferrari failing to catch up and Mercedes erring on the side of caution, expect Red Bull to strike. In addition, the situation puts a major dent in Hamilton’s title hopes. As engines fail, the points gap between Rosberg and Hamilton continues to grow.
Reactions from Within Mercedes
Tension was high following Lewis Hamilton’s engine failure in the Malaysian Grand Prix. The three-time Formula 1 World Champion showed frustration towards his team, stating “We have so many engines made for drivers, but mine are the only ones failing.” Although Hamilton’s comments stem from frustration, they raise questions about Mercedes engine failure. In response to these questions, Mercedes told Sky Sports “Anyone with an ounce of intelligence analysing the situation would realise that the prospect of us designing a piece of equipment to fail at that precise moment… if we were that good we would be able to control everything.”
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 2, 2016
Despite frustrations and setbacks, Mercedes remains optimistic. Of Hamilton’s comments, Niki Lauda has said “I don’t want to say he said rubbish, but these things can happen, the emotion. It’s fully acceptable and there’s nothing wrong. Nothing wrong.”
Hamilton’s teammate and points leader Nico Rosberg has the most to lose. An engine failure for either driver would cost the team. For Rosberg, it would be costly because of his points lead. However, the German driver told Formula1.com: “I trust the team that they will do the best they can to make sure that such an engine failure will not happen again. There will be certain changes on the engine for this weekend here in Japan. Am I worried that such an issue could decide the championship? No.”