He may have one hand on the 2015 Drivers’ title already, but Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes’ reliability problems are “a bit of a concern”.
Hamilton opened a 66-point lead at the top of the standings after easing to victory at Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel finishing second and Sergio Perez third.
Merc were hoping to wrap up the Constructors’ Championship this weekend, but that has to wait as Nico Rosberg had to retire with a throttle pedal problem.
After nearly sweeping all before them during the first half of the season, Mercedes have now had problems in several races after the summer break with Rosberg suffering an engine problem in Italy while Hamilton also failed to see the chequered flag in Singapore due to a power unit issue.
Although they were back to their best in Japan last time out, Rosberg’s latest DNF is a cause for concern for everyone at Brackley, including Hamilton, who also had an problem with his W06.
“I don’t know what was wrong with my car, I don’t think it was DRS, but it was something happening to the rear end, that’s why my pace decreased,” he said.
“The reliability is something we have focused on a huge amount over the last year and a half and for whatever reason, we are struggling and having a few problems with it.
“Nico has been incredibly unfortunate to suffer the worst.
“We will be working as hard as we can to rectify it – and I hope in the next races we don’t have a problem – but of course it is a concern for us.”
The Mercedes pair locked out the front row of the grid with Rosberg taking pole and it was all set up for a great fight as they went wheel-to-wheel on the opening few laps.
“I was excited because Nico and I were quite close together at the beginning and I was thinking ‘okay we got a race here’. It is a shame for the team to lose one of the cars and to not have a race,” he said.
“When I knew Sebastian was behind I was thinking ‘I wish we could be having a race’, it would be great for the fans.
“I don’t take what we have granted. The team have done an amazing job.”
His Russian GP victory means he now has 42 grands prix wins to his name, one more than his boyhood idol Ayrton Senna.
“It’s a special moment for me to surpass Ayrton,” he said.
The double World Champion added: “Very, very proud and happy.”