Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff has refuted the idea the series of engine failures Lewis Hamilton has suffered will put a tilt on the world title race towards Nico Rosberg but has concede the German has enjoyed the majority of luck in 2016.
Hamiton was denied a seventh win of the season by a rare Mercedes power unit failure 16 laps from the finish and coupled with Rosberg's recovery drive to third having been hit into a spin at the first turn the defending F1 world champion trails his team-mate by 23 points.
The dramatic failure is another one in a line of engine problems the British driver has suffered this year which saw him endure a difficult start to the season – falling 43 points behind Rosberg at one point – while he saw his race compromised at Spa by enforced grid penalties for engine changes.
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Despite Rosberg profiting from his team-mate's engine woes on each occasion, Wolff has refused the idea it has dictated the world title charge in the German's favour and feels with five races remaining the championship complexion could still change.
“I don't think it will put any shadow on the championship,” Wolff said. “Of course Nico is going to say he was the luckier driver this year in terms of mechanical reliability, but then he had some great drives like in Singapore.
“But you know, the championship isn't over yet, it's another five races to go – Lewis has had a massive blow to his campaign, that's clear. Let's see how it finishes, let them battle it out on track and hopefully there won't be any more reliability blows in the next five races and then we will see where we are.”
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Wolff also added it isn't the first time he felt Mercedes has let one of its drivers down at vital moment during a season, pointing to Rosberg's engine woes at the 2014 season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Mercedes boss has confirmed the team is running a full investigation on its remaining engines to try and prevent a future problem.
“It is a mechanical sport, and these things happen,” he said. “I remember 2014 when Nico had a failure at the start of the last race, and it's frustrating it comes at a crucial moment in the championship, and we letting him down this year, it's him this year.”
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