Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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Lewis Hamilton’s engine has been called into question by Ralf Schumacher. The former F1 driver described the Mercedes power unit as a “rocket” and even branded it “questionable” and “not in the spirit of F1.”
Hamilton was superior to his rival last weekend in Sao Paulo, and secured a much-needed win in the race for the F1 world title.
The silver arrows were forced to take a penalty after changing their engine, with the reason given it provided a better performance compared to the previous unit, which there was reportedly no issue with.
Therefore, Schumacher, 46, is concerned and calls for the FIA to investigate.
“This worries me a little,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“The FIA should look for a different way because if this idea breaks down, everyone will change the engine every time and then everyone gets the same penalty and everyone has a great performance.”
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The former Toyota racer asks that engines should only be replaced if there is a clear problem with the old one.
He says that being able to make changes for that reason as Mercedes have done, in his opinion goes against the spirit of Formula 1 and feels “questionable” in terms of fairness.
“Mercedes only changed it because it was showing too much wear from the previous races. It wasn’t broken, but that’s not the point of Formula 1. I find it a bit questionable,” he added.
“In my opinion, an engine should only be changed when it has to be. And if Mercedes has more wear and tear and less performance than the others, that’s their problem. You shouldn’t be able to take advantage like this.”
Ahead of the Qatar GP, Red Bull have raised concerns about the legality of Mercedes’ rear wing.
The team believe the supporting surface of their rival’s rear wing is moving when travelling down the straights at high speeds on the track, reducing the drag on the W12.
Red Bull have not lodged a formal protest, however, they have released an image with what they claim are “score marks” to “give an example” of what is happening at Mercedes.
Speaking about the image, Horner told Sky Sports F1: “It’s part of a piece of a puzzle, we’re not going to disclose a full protest document here, it’s just to give you an example of what is happening and why we’re seeing this exponential straight-line speed.
“So the FIA have got all that, they’re the people that can go and check these things and we’re really delighted to see that they’ve introduced a fact-finding mission here, that after qualifying, they’re going to be testing these wings.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Woff denied the allegations and welcomed the investigation.
“If you’re led by scepticism because someone told you something and you expect that to be the root cause, you should go for it [and protest],” he said.
“We’ve said that we’ve been controlled 14 times on this very particular rear wing, the FIA has all drawings about it and there is no such thing as Red Bull expects there to be.
“So we are happy to send it, cut it — I can send you one to [Red Bull’s factory in] Milton Keynes.”
The teams will go head-to-head in the inaugural Qatar GP tomorrow, as Lewis Hamilton, who will start on pole, looks to further close the gap to Max Verstappen who starts second.
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