The faulty engine which robbed Lewis Hamilton of victory on Sunday has arrived back in England as Mercedes desperately attempt to resolve the mechanical problems which have derailed his Formula One title defence.
Hamilton, who is currently in Tokyo ahead of this week’s Japanese Grand Prix, was on course to win in Malaysia and take back control of the championship before his engine blew up with only 15 laps remaining.
Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo took advantage in Malaysia to claim his first victory of the season.
Hamilton’s latest setback marked the third time his grand prix weekend has been scuppered by an engine problem this year, while Nico Rosberg, his Mercedes teammate and sole title rival whom he now trails by 23 points, is yet to encounter any major mechanical dramas.
The engine was sent on the near-7,000-mile (11,265km) trip from Kuala Lumpur to Mercedes’ headquarters in Brixworth, England overnight on Monday where it will now undergo a thorough analysis.
Mercedes have so far been unable to understand why Hamilton’s engines keep failing. The Briton, 31, even suggested that he would consider skipping some practice sessions at the remaining five rounds in the hope of avoiding any further problems.
“Missing a practice session is harming his weekend overall so we want to come to a race and have a more reliable situation,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.
“We will leave no stone unturned to check the engines for the next races. We are forensic. Whatever needs to be done will be done.
“There is no explanation. It’s a freaky situation that has no rational explanation.”