• Mercedes

Wolff sure Hamilton will get back in title fight

ESPN Staff
June 9, 2014 « Rules prompted Newey's decision to step back from F1 | Force India should have retired Perez before shunt - Smedley »
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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton will haul himself back into the title fight with team-mate Nico Rosberg and the drivers' championship will ultimately be decided at the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton retired from the Canadian Grand Prix with rear brake failure after his MGU-K overheated and failed. Rosberg experienced the same problem at the same moment of the race, but was able to nurse his Mercedes to the finish to take second place and a 22-point lead in the drivers' standings.

"We are sorry to have let Lewis down and it's a shame when the championship is as close as it is," Wolff said. "But he is in good spirits, he is a fighter and I have no doubt that he will come back. As for Nico, he deserved to take those points because he had a car that was heavily handicapped against all others and he deserves to have that second place.

"We are seven races in and we are having another 12 [races] - 13 if you include double points. We have to be careful saying it will be an easy home run for us [to keep winning], because Red Bull has scored massive points today and you can lose that gap pretty quickly, but between the two of them [Rosberg and Hamilton] it will come down to the end of the season with double points [in Abu Dhabi]."

The failure on both cars occurred after the control electronics feeding power to the MGU-K overheated. As a result the Mercedes lost the additional power supplied by the MGU-K as well as stripping the cars of the deceleration effect as the MGU-K harvests energy from the rear axle under braking. Wolff said it was not a problem the team had anticipated.

"What we know is that we had a peak in temperatures in a system that we didn't expect to be as crucial as it was," he said. "We were keeping temperatures under observation and we know where we are critical, and in that case it was just something that we didn't spot before. It is another part that we have to analyse and understand and the consequence was obviously detrimental to the whole car and the brakes.

"We told both drivers to manage the brakes, because obviously when you lose the electric motor you also lose the electric braking, so the brakes were overheating massively. We changed the balance within the braking system and told them to be more careful, which is what both of them did and they complied exactly to what they were told, but then it's very marginal. Lewis entered the pits, stopped the car and temperatures rose, and then when he went out the pedal just went soft and then fell down completely. Nico was lucky not to have that."

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