Lewis Hamilton’s miserable Australian Grand Prix weekend ends in Mercedes W15 engine failure

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton surrounded by engineers in the garage with a prominent Mercedes logo alongside him

Lewis Hamilton has endured a difficult start to his final season with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has retired from the Australian Grand Prix after stopping with an apparent engine failure on his Mercedes W15.

Hamilton was seen slowing on the back straight after just 16 laps at Albert Park, reporting an “engine failure” over team radio before parking up at the side of the track.

Lewis Hamilton out of Australian Grand Prix

The reliability issue came after Hamilton had pitted early after starting on soft tyres, with the seven-time World Champion questioning Mercedes’ decision to start him on the red-striped rubber over the radio before the race had even got underway.

Hamilton’s stoppage made him the second retirement of the day in Melbourne after Max Verstappen stopped with a rear break issue on his Red Bull RB20, ending the reigning World Champion’s hopes of matching his own record of 10 straight wins.

A first DNF of the season put the cap on a miserable weekend for Hamilton, who qualified a distant 11th after being knocked out of Q2 on Saturday.

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With Mercedes struggling with the W15 in the early stages of this season, Hamilton commented that the car’s inconsistency “really messes with the mind.”

Those remarks came after Hamilton finished 18th out of of 19 runners in FP2, with the 39-year-old admitting after Friday practice that his confidence with the car was at rock bottom.

He said: “I obviously don’t feel great.

“We had one of the worst sessions I’ve probably had for a long time.

“FP1 generally felt quite good – the car in FP1, run one, actually felt the best it’s ever felt – but it just got worse and worse.

“We made some big changes into FP2 and it was tough.

“After that session, I feel the least confident I’ve ever felt with this car.

“But there are positives from that [like] that FP1 run that we did.”

Hamilton’s retirement – his first since last season’s Qatar Grand Prix in Lusail – comes after he finished seventh and ninth respectively in the opening two races of the 2024 season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Hamilton is in his last season with Mercedes, having announced last month that he will join Ferrari on a multi-year contract from 2025.

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