Mercedes have announced on Thursday they have found the cause of the engine failure which saw Lewis Hamilton retire from the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The team have put it down to a ‘big-end bearing failure in the crankshaft’, which then led to a loss of oil pressure forcing him to retire and give a further advantage to his teammate in the World Championship race. Hamilton, having suffered reliability problems earlier in the season, took extra engines at the Belgian Grand Prix last month, with the expectation these would see him through until the end of the season, but given this latest failure he might have to take another penalty before the year is out.
Mercedes said: “Our analysis has shown that Lewis Hamilton’s engine suffered a big-end bearing failure. This happened without warning after 618 km and was preceded by a loss of oil pressure in Turn 15”
Mercedes also announced that a planned engine upgrade for their customers including Williams, Force India and Manor has been delayed and will be run in a more conservative mode until the understanding of how the failure occurred becomes apparent.