Hamil­ton de­mands an­swers over en­gine fail­ure

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA -

SEPANG, Malaysia (AP): A FU­RI­OUS Lewis Hamil­ton de­manded an­swers from his Mercedes team af­ter an en­gine fail­ure cost him vic­tory in yes­ter­day’s Malaysian Grand Prix and se­verely dented his chances of win­ning this year’s For­mula One driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship.

Hamil­ton was lead­ing on lap 41 of 56 at the Sepang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit when his en­gine blew, hand­ing the race lead, and ul­ti­mately, vic­tory to Red Bull’s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo.

It was Ric­cia­rdo’s first vic­tory since the 2014 Bel­gian Grand Prix, lead­ing a one-two fin­ish with his teenage team­mate Max Ver­stap­pen.

More painfully, it gave Hamil­ton’s Mercedes team­mate and ti­tle ri­val Nico Ros­berg – who fin­ished an im­pres­sive third – a 23-point lead in the cham­pi­onship. Ros­berg had to fight back from 21st place af­ter lap one when he was the in­no­cent party in a col­li­sion with Ferrari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel.

With five races left in the sea­son, it will be dif­fi­cult for Hamil­ton to make up the deficit to the ul­tra-con­sis­tent Ros­berg in the cham­pi­onship tus­sle. The frus­trated Hamil­ton was up­set in the cir­cum­stances and he hinted at per­haps more than that.

“My ques­tion is to Mercedes,” Hamil­ton said. “We have so many en­gines made for driv­ers, but mine are the only ones fail­ing this year. Some­one needs to give me some an­swers be­cause this is not ac­cept­able. We are fighting for the cham­pi­onship and only my en­gines are fail­ing. It does not sit right with me.

“Some­one doesn’t want me to win this year, but I won’t give up. I will keep push­ing.”

Red Bull and Ric­cia­rdo took a lucky vic­tory, given the cir­cum­stances that af­flicted the Mercedes pair, but were in the right place to cap­i­talise and make up for the win the Aus­tralian driver felt he was de­prived of in Monaco when a team pit-stop mis­un­der­stand­ing cost him vic­tory.

“Told you I’d win one. Some­times you just need things to swing your way,” said Ric­cia­rdo, whose tears dur­ing the Aus­tralian an­them, played af­ter the race, mixed freely with the co­pi­ous sweat gen­er­ated in the trop­i­cal con­di­tions, which gen­er­ated track tem­per­a­tures con­sis­tently top­ping 50 de­grees (122 F).

“It’s been an in­ter­est­ing, I would say, two years since my last vic­tory and it feels awe­some for sure. I am so grate­ful for it,” he said.

Ric­cia­rdo de­lighted many fans, and dis­gusted quite a few oth­ers, by cel­e­brat­ing vic­tory with his newly adopted tra­di­tion of pour­ing the cel­e­bra­tory cham­pagne into his sweaty race shoe and then drink­ing it — some­thing he calls the ‘Shoey’.

Not only that, he also con­vinced team prin­ci­pal Chris­tian Horner, plus Ver­stap­pen and Ros­berg, to also drink from the un­con­ven­tional ves­sel.

Asked to com­ment on the flavour, Ric­cia­rdo said it had a fruity taste, but Ros­berg dead­panned: “I hope he does not win any more races this year.”

AP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamil­ton of Bri­tain leaves his car af­ter an en­gine fail­ure dur­ing the Malaysian For­mula One Grand Prix at the Sepang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit in Sepang, Malaysia, yes­ter­day. FAIL­ING EN­GINES

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