Mercedes confirms cause of Hamilton’s Malaysia engine failure

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Mercedes has confirmed the cause of Lewis Hamilton’s engine blow-out during last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton suffered an engine failure while leading the race by 20 seconds with 17 laps remaining, costing him the chance to regain the lead of the drivers’ championship at Sepang.

Mercedes confirmed at the time that it received no prior warning ahead of the engine failing, with the power unit being returned to its base in England for further evaluation.

On Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, a spokesperson from Mercedes confirmed the cause of the failure.

“Our analysis has shown that Lewis’ engine suffered a big-end bearing failure. This happened without warning after 618 km and was preceded by a loss of oil pressure in Turn 15,” he said.

“For this race weekend, Lewis will revert to his Singapore unit and Nico will use his Malaysia engine. We will introduce revised running parameters for all Mercedes engines this weekend.

“Planned new engines for five customer drivers this weekend will be delayed to contain further possible learning from the strip of the failed unit. They will continue to use their units from Malaysia.”

Hamilton enters this weekend’s race in Japan trailing Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 23 points in the drivers’ championship.