Mercedes have denied claims of sabotage against World Champion Lewis Hamilton that has been the central talking point in Formula One since the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend.
Hamilton secured his eighth pole of the 2016 season at Sepang International Circuit and was also on course to register his 50th win in his F1 career, but was denied a victory following another engine failure during lap 43 that resulted in his retirement.
This was for the third time in the current campaign the Brit had to endure a mechanical failure, which prompted him to raise a question of conspiracy within the team.
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Technical director Paddy Lowe, however, completely disagreed about such occurrence in the team.
The Guardian quoted him saying: “I can’t agree with you that the driver thinks it is sabotage.
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“Lewis has been very clear, certainly with us, that is completely out of the question, and anyone with an ounce of intelligence would realise that the prospect of us designing a system that would cause a big-end bearing to fail at that precise point in the race [is not correct].”
Lowe believes that if one would be that efficient in his work, Mercedes would be untouchable among their peers, winning everything in the process.
“If we were that good, we would win everything and control everything at every point. If we were good enough to arrange such sabotage we wouldn’t have any failures.”
Although, he admitted that it is only a matter of luck that the 31-year-old was handed engines that proved to be faulty on more than one occasion.
“We have eight engines running around out there, and with the exception of one failure, they have all fallen to Lewis. That is something that none of us can really understand, but it is the way the dice have been thrown.”
Hamilton’s teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg again clocked better timings on both practice sessions in Japan, being 0.215sec faster than Hamilton, whereas it was very closely contested in the afternoon session.
The reigning champion narrowed the gap to 0.072, but the German driver delivered a scintillating time of 1min and 32.250sec, which remained the best of the day.
With only five races to go until the end of the season, it is between the two teammates for the Driver's Championship.
Nonetheless, Formula One fans are in for an incredible conclusion in the weeks ahead.