Lewis Hamilton reacted furiously to his engine blowout at the Malaysian Grand Prix, hinting that “someone doesn’t want me to win this year”.
Hamilton appeared on course to for a seventh race win of the season, which would have taken him back to the top of the Formula One drivers’ championship, on lap 41, only to be undone as his Mercedes caught fire and ground to a halt.
That handed the win to Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg coming home in third to extend his lead in the standings to 23 points.
Briton Hamilton has been beset by reliability issues this campaign and has already used the maximum amount of power units for 2016.
“My question is to Mercedes. We have so many engines made for drivers, but mine are the only ones failing this year,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“Someone needs to give me some answers because this is not acceptable. We are fighting for the championship and only my engines are failing.
“It does not sit right with me. I will try and recollect myself and try to get myself together for the race next week.
“There are many decisive races but this is one of those. Someone doesn’t want me to win this year but I won’t give up. I will keep pushing.”
Addressing Hamilton’s comments, Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told Sky Sports F1: “I’m really upset about myself and my organisation because we should not let him down with an engine failure. I feel personally very sorry for him.
“I’ll take him to Japan and hope to bring him up. Twenty-three points is a lot to gain, but you never know what can happen to the other guy.
“I can convince him that we have nothing against him. We are working for him and are proud of him, but these things can happen.”