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Mercedes provide update on Hamilton’s engine after Melbourne failure

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Mercedes have shared some insight into the investigations going on at their dedicated F1 power unit facility in Brixworth after Lewis Hamilton’s engine-related retirement from the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was forced to pull off the track after just 17 laps of racing at Albert Park, with team mate George Russell’s late accident adding insult to injury and marking Mercedes’ first double DNF since the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix.

READ MORE: Wolff admits wanting to ‘punch himself on the nose’ after Mercedes double DNF on ‘brutal’ day in Australia

Asked during the team’s post-race debrief video if they knew what had caused Hamilton’s failure, Mercedes Technical Director James Allison said: “We do not. The power units will return to the safe hands of the guys at Brixworth, who will be able to figure out what let go.

“All we know is the symptoms at the time, which was a rapid loss of oil pressure followed by a shutdown of the engine to protect it.

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2024 Australian Grand Prix: Engine failure causes DNF for Hamilton in Melbourne

“When you know you’ve got catastrophic loss like that, the best thing you can do for the future is kill it there and then, and then you have not got like a load of molten metal.

“You have normally got a fairly clear evidence chain of what caused it and then that lets you work better for the future. So, we do not know yet, [but] Brixworth and HPP [Mercedes High Performance Powertrains] will do in short order.

READ MORE: ‘It’s tough on the spirit’ – Hamilton brands 2024 the ‘worst start’ to an F1 season he's ever had

“No doubt as soon as we know then they will jump to with their characteristic energy to make sure that any risk that happens on any other engine is mitigated as best we can.”

Allison stressed, however, that there are no major concerns over the team’s reliability moving forward, with “all our focus” instead on extracting more performance from the W15 and getting closer to the front of the field.

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Hamilton admits it’s been ‘a real struggle this weekend’ after his DNF in Australia

“DNFs are thankfully a rare thing for us,” he commented. “We have drivers who are particularly good at keeping it on the island and our reliability overall is a strong point.

“It is unusual to have a double DNF like that. It is certainly not something we expect to punctuate our season. What we are more focused on is the pace because if you get the pace sorted out the season will be okay whatever happens.

READ MORE: Wolff names first choice to replace Hamilton at Mercedes as he sets timeline for decision

“The baseline reliability of the car, our procedural approach to it and the skill of our drivers will tend to keep you clear of DNFs. All our focus is on the pace knowing that those other foundations are in decent shape.”

Following the first three rounds of the season, and their double DNF in Australia, Mercedes sit fourth in the constructors’ standings, behind McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.

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