Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff has revealed Lewis Hamilton’s retirement from the Singapore Grand Prix was due to the failure of a metal clamp between the intercooler and plenum that resulted in a loss of turbo boost pressure.
The championship leader Lewis Hamilton was running aggressively in fourth place when he reported a power loss on lap 26, and the huge power drop forcing him down the field and leading to his retirement on lap 32.
Wolff revealed following the race that a small part had failed which caused a much bigger trouble.
“We had a very minor bit – a metal clamp – that broke and had a massive effect,” Wolff said. “The clamp was holding the plenum together and when it jumped off it caused boost leak. It was a freak thing. We have run the design for a long time and it was a typical metal clamp and it just broke.”
However, when asked if Hamilton would need a new power unit as a result, Wolff replied: “Lewis’s engine shouldn’t have any problems.”
“Ever since we put the car on track on Friday morning, we were on the back foot and it only improved a little today”, Wolff continued.
“There were times in the race when the pace looked okay but the guys in front were managing their tyres, too, so we must be realistic about our level of performance at this circuit. Now we need to analyse everything precisely, understand the wrong turn that we took this weekend to learn the right lessons – and then close this chapter. One bad weekend doesn’t overshadow our achievements so far this year but we know that there is no room for complacency after a weekend like this. We will aim to hit back strongly next weekend in Suzuka.”