Hamilton’s engine woes spell trouble for his Merc swan song, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Hamilton’s engine woes spell trouble for his Merc swan song

SUZUKA – Lewis Hamilton's early season woes have been compounded by Mercedes confirming on Friday that the seven-time world champion has already lost one of his four allotted engines, meaning he could face grid penalties later in the season.

Hamilton, in his final season with the Silver Arrows before he joins Ferrari next year, retired from the Australian Grand Prix after a sudden power unit failure, which was later determined to be terminal.

“That one is for the bin,” Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff told a press conference between the first practice sessions at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka circuit.

“It is a very highly unusual failure that we have a hardware failure that we didn't see coming before. So yeah, we can't reuse that. And it depends how the season develops, whether we need one more or not. I can't really say at this stage."

Hamilton's team mate George Russell crashed in Melbourne, the first time both the team's drivers did not finish a race in five years.

Hamilton, who finished third in the drivers' standings behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in 2023, is languishing in 10th this season.

He was fifth in the first practice session at Suzuka, around half a second behind pacesetter Verstappen.

While it is not that uncommon for drivers to face penalties for exceeding engine quotas, losing one so early in the 24-race calendar is a worrying sign for a team beset with reliability problems in recent seasons. – REUTERS

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