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Will reliability decide the F1 title?

Will 'DNF's' and Mercedes reliability issues ultimately decide who claims the 2014 Formula One World Championship?

On Sunday Mercedes AMG suffered another reliability issue, which cost one of their drivers dearly.

Up until Singapore Lewis Hamilton had suffered three DNF's, these were down to an engine fault in Australia, a brake and power problem in Canada and the controversial collision with team-mate Nico Rosberg in Belgium.

Hamilton also suffered a brake failure during the qualifying of the German Grand Prix and in the very next race in Hungary, Hamilton suffered an engine fire and was unable to set a time in qualifying.

Both incidents ended Hamilton's hopes of winning the race, with difficult afternoons of battling his way up through the field.

Meanwhile Nico Rosberg's Mercedes had been running relatively smoothly. He too had suffered the power issue in Canada, but he was able to recover and hold on to a second place.

In fact Rosberg didn't finish outside of the top two spots on the podium during the opening eight Grand Prix of the season, until a gearbox problem forced his first retirement of the season.

That run of good luck for Rosberg in comparison with Hamilton meant that despite Rosberg winning four times, compared to Hamilton's six, Rosberg still lead Hamilton by 22 points in the Formula One World Championship.

But that was to end before the Singapore race even got under way.

Rosberg suffered an electrical fault, which seemed to be related to the steering wheel.

He was unable to get away from the grid for the parade lap and eventually started from the pit-lane.

His car was skipping gears and was lacking hybrid-power, so even though he started the race he was struggling to even fight with the backmarker teams of Caterham and Marussia.

Once the first pit-stop came around, he was once again unable to pull away and was forced to retire.

'The problems with my steering wheel began in the garage even before the race and it was a difficult moment when I couldn't pull away from the grid - the car didn't get out of neutral. When I left the pit-lane, I was only able to change gear - there was no radio, no DRS and reduced Hybrid power. We were hoping that the systems might come back to life, like the radio did, and that we could change the situation. But after we changed the wheel another time, we had to retire the car. Rosberg told formula1.com.

Whilst it is clear that Mercedes will take both the drivers and constructors titles this season, the German manufacturer do not want their reliability problems to decide who takes the title in an even contest.

'We don't want to have the spin that the championship was decided because one car let the driver down,'

'We need to refocus, get our heads down and keep concentrating and work out what we can do to prevent DNFs, reliability problems.'
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff told the BBC.








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 22 2014

Time: 11:00AM

 

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