Lewis Hamilton concerned reliability could decide F1 championship

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Lewis Hamilton hopes that reliability issues do not become a defining factor in this year’s championship fight and says the sport’s current engine regulations are too harsh.

Hamilton came close to an engine failure at the last round in Canada as his Mercedes power unit overheated and experienced power dropouts during its seventh grand prix weekend of the season. Drivers have to make three engines last 21 races this year as part of regulations designed to save costs and are hit with grid penalties if they exceed their quota.

But with manufacturers spending more and more money on R&D to improve reliability, Hamilton is concerned the current regulations will only have a negative impact on the sport.

“I hope they don’t go to two engines next year because it’s just going to get ridiculous,” he said. “It was definitely a bit more fun when you had more engines I would say.

“The fact that a season can sway through reliability, I don’t think anyone wants to see that. I don’t think anyone wants to be cheated of that. You want actual true performance.

“The sport is going in the wrong direction in my opinion. I have so many different opinions about it. They needed to fricking change these bleeding engines to save costs and then they spend more to produce it.”

Hamilton is due to run his second engine of the season at the upcoming French Grand Prix after a planned upgrade was delayed ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix due to reliability concerns. On Sunday, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said he couldn’t be 100 percent certain the upgrade would be ready but said it was the team’s goal to bring it to France.

“I don’t want to say too much because we were expecting to have the engine here but then on the last long run we spotted a potential issue,” Wolff said. “We want to have it in the car Friday morning, run it without problems, then confirm that it’s all OK.”

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