Mercedes technical boss dismisses 'sabotage' conspiracy theories
Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe has dismissed suggestions that Lewis Hamilton’s car was sabotaged when the Briton retired from the Malaysian GP with an engine failure.
Lowe denied that Hamilton himself had even hinted at sabotage when he referred to “someone” not wanting him to win the World Championship, which Lewis later clarified was a reference to a “higher power.”
“I can’t agree with you that the driver hinted there was sabotage,” said Lowe when asked about the subject. “Lewis has been very clear, certainly with us, that that’s completely out of the question. I think anybody with an ounce of intelligence analyzing the situation would realize that the prospect of us designing a system that would cause a big end to fail at that precise point in the race.
“If we were that good we would win everything and control everything at every point. We’ve had other failures in the year that are very unfortunate, and if we were good enough to arrange such sabotage we wouldn’t have any failures. It’s a very tough business, Formula One. The engineering is operating right at the boundary of performance, and things do go wrong.
“The complexity is incredible and trying to engineer something to happen on purpose on a car - it’s similar to when people say to us ‘you favor one driver over another’ and the idea that we might give better equipment to one driver or another. If we’ve invented something that makes our car quicker of course we want it on both cars, because we want to win the race. We never hold back or would ever even contemplate it, even if we could engineer it, which we couldn’t. Anyone intelligent could work that out.”
Lowe also addressed the question of why Hamilton has had more failures than any other Mercedes driver this year.
“I think the thing you have to bear in mind is that we’re all very rational people, certainly in the engineering area, and we all know that you can throw three double-sixes in a row. That is possible, statistically - and yet when you see it done, emotionally you feel ‘how did that happen?’ We have got a little bit of that scenario with Lewis. We have eight power units out there running around and, with the exception of one failure, they have all fallen to Lewis this year on his power unit and that is something that none of us can really understand, how things could turn out that way.
“But it is just the way the dice has been thrown. Things do go wrong. We understand that and it just so happens that, by pure coincidence, that has occurred repeatedly on Lewis’ car. We’re gutted about it. We just wish luck wouldn’t fall that way. Understandable that Lewis, as we all were feeling immediately after that blow-up, ‘how can that have happened again?’
“Personally, I was only just getting over the idea of the consecutive failures he had in qualifying earlier in the year where already you felt the statistics had fallen very, very unfairly, and I was very happy for Lewis that he managed to recover his points back up to a place of level competition with Nico. So, it was a real blow. But we quickly try to become rational and just accept that these things happen and then you move on and look to the future.”