June 20, 2024
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has lost the power unit that failed in Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix, Motorsport.com has learned, with Mercedes having got to the bottom of what went wrong.
The seven-time world champion retired in the early stages of the race at Albert Park after his Mercedes engine shut down following sensors detecting an unspecified problem.

The power unit was flown back to Mercedes’ engine facility at Brixworth for post-race analysis to get an understanding of what happened, with no obvious explanation available immediately and the team unclear about whether or not it could be used again.

But, ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Mercedes discovered that the issue was a terminal one, which means the engine cannot be brought back into the allocation pool that Hamilton has available.

Mercedes concluded that the retirement was caused by a bottom end failure, which has been traced back to a quality process issue rather than any specific design problem.

The loss of one of the four engines Hamilton has for the season at such an early stage makes it likely that he will need to take an extra power unit, and therefore a grid drop, at some point later in the campaign.

It appears that the bottom end failure was a one-off, with analysis of the other engines within the current pool for Hamilton and George Russell showing no concerns of there being the risk of a repeat.

Hamilton’s retirement from the Australian GP has heaped further misery on a troubled start to the season for Mercedes, which has not delivered the step forward hoped for from its 2024 car.
Lewis Hamilton

The new W15 has shown a particular weakness in high-speed corners, and the team is trying to improve its tyre temperature management to better extract more performance from the car.

Despite the troubled first few races, Hamilton remained optimistic about the capabilities Mercedes had to turn things around.

“I think it’s all about perspective,” he said. “I think for us, of course, we’ve not started the season where we wanted to be but we’ve got a long way to go.

“You’ve seen in the past, last year, for example, just how things can switch in certain teams – looking like Aston, [and] McLaren last year, who started on the back foot. Anything can happen in the sport.

“I think we’ve just got to learn as much as we can, take as much as we can from the data, remain positive, continue to work hard. And I would say it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get up.

“We’re just going to continue to chase and fight and hopefully we can be fighting at the front at some stage.”

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