Lewis Hamilton started the race from 10th with his car in a wrong engine mode; also he was unable to get help from Mercedes team, due to the new radio rules introduced for 2016 that ban in-car help.
The Brit asked repeatedly which switch he needed to use and even considered guessing what to change before Mercedes advised him not to.
Finally Lewis fixed the issue, he was 13 seconds adrift of Sergio Perez in fourth place, so opted to turn down his engine and settle for P5.
“I don’t see the benefit,” Hamilton told Sky F1 of F1’s radio ban. “The FIA have made Formula One so technical. To have at least 100 different switch positions, there’s no way for me to know – however much I study – what the problem was.
“It’s just a shame I couldn’t race. I wanted to race. If I’d been able to resolve the power situation I could have been part of the show, but it wasn’t to be so it’s the way it is.”
“I turned the engine down (towards the end), I was 14 seconds behind the guys in front with seven, eight laps to go, so I just saved the engine, remembering I don’t have as many engines as the guys in front for the rest of the year. Maybe, I can get more out of this engine.”
“I had no idea, there were like 16 different engine positions and in those engine positions, like 20 positions, so I had no idea what problem I had, just low power. I didn’t do anything, it just fixed itself.
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda revealed that Rosberg had also suffered with the same issue, although he was able to fix it much quicker than Hamilton.
“It is difficult and in this case it was a discussion about engine modes and we can’t tell them,” Lauda said.
“It was a problem they both had and Nico could fix it quicker than Lewis. The [radio] ban is there, so we all have to adapt.
“We would’ve got a penalty and we would’ve been further back so no-one wants to risk that. Lewis did not get the speed out of the car that Nico did.”