Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claimed last Sunday that they’d ‘leave no stone unturned’ yet according to Paddy Lowe, Mercedes are still none the wiser as to the reason for the Power Unit failure at the weekend.
Comfortably leading the Malaysian GP, Lewis was set to be ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg in the drivers championship until the failure ended his race prematurely with only 15 laps to go.
Yet Lowe has admitted to Autosport during the Japanese GP build up today, that “we’re continuing to investigate the issue with his engine.
We are doing everything we can to ensure that it is first understood and then contained for the remainder of the season.
As it stands, despite the failure of this engine, Lewis now has the same stock of power units as Nico for the remaining five races – including used power units which he can fit for free practice sessions.
So, hopefully there will be no further impact to his programme.”
Wolff added: “There is no rational explanation or pattern in these failures. If there were, we would resolve it.
It’s a very unfortunate coincidence things have happened like this. For me, it’s like six times red in roulette at the casino.
But I remember 2014 when Nico had a failure at the start of the last race [in Abu Dhabi when he had a shot at beating Hamilton to the title].
It’s frustrating it comes at a crucial moment in the championship, and we are letting him [Hamilton] down this year. It’s him this year.”
Lewis has on occasion had poor luck previously. During his tenure at McLaren there was string failures and errors by the team during the 2012 season, most likely those problems helped cement the decision to leave the Woking squad.
The question is now, has he got the motivation to continue with Mercedes despite contractual commitments? Signed for the team until at least 2018 on a 3 year deal worth a reputed $100 million in total, yet with 3 titles under his belt (the same as his hero Ayrton Senna), there must be a question marks over his desire to continue in F1 when “a higher power does not want me to be champion”.
Lewis says there’s no use dwelling on things (just don’t mention Spa 2012), and “I’ll continue to fight more [this season]…
But at the end of the year, if the higher power does not want me to win and be champion, with everything I have given towards it, then I’ll have to accept it.
As long as I end the year knowing I’ve given it everything, and I’ve done everything I possibly could do, and we have done everything we can do, that’s all you could ask for.”
Lets see if Mercedes (or God) can hand out a 7th red at the Japanese casino this weekend.