x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Hamilton blames battle with Rosberg for early end to Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes duo were locked in dramatic fight for lead until they both began to suffer from Energy Recovery System problems.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is pushed into the garage after being forced to retire at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday. Ryan Remiorz / AP Photo
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is pushed into the garage after being forced to retire at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday. Ryan Remiorz / AP Photo

MONTREAL // Lewis Hamilton has vowed to reel in Nico Rosberg for a second time in this season’s Formula One world title battle after swallowing another bitter pill in Canada.

Dicing with Rosberg for the lead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton was forced to retire after 47 laps with rear-brake failure sparked by the loss of the ERS - his car’s energy recovery system.

Although the ERS in Rosberg’s Mercedes also failed, the 28-year-old went on to see the chequered flag, claiming second after being passed by Red Bull’s debut winner Daniel Ricciardo two laps from home.

It means Hamilton is 22 points behind Rosberg, a crushing blow after previously clawing back a 25-point deficit from the opening race in Australia where he retired and Rosberg triumphed.

“I did the best I could out there and felt like I was having a strong race, but unfortunately it just wasn’t our day,” said Hamilton.

“There was nothing I could do about our issues. We were managing the loss of power, but as soon as I finally made the jump on Nico in the second pit stop, my brakes failed.

“There are no emotions other than I couldn’t believe my car stopped and the other didn’t, but that’s the way it goes.

“Two DNFs (did not finish) is not helpful, but there’s a long, long way to go. I’ve caught up before, so I’ll catch up again.

“To not finish is disappointing, but there are plenty more races ahead of us this season so let’s hope for better fortune.”

Previously, Hamilton had to reel off four successive victories to finally edge ahead of Rosberg in the standings.

Given the performance of the Mercedes car, despite the gremlins on show at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hamilton feels it may take something similarly special.

“Naturally, for the team, I don’t want either car not to finish so hopefully we don’t have any issues on either car for the rest of the year,” added Hamilton.

“That obviously means I’ll have even more work to do to make up the lost ground, probably another four wins, and I’ll do what I can to get those.

“We’ve good tracks coming up, and the one for me is I make sure I win at Silverstone (in the British Grand Prix on July 6).”

Rosberg wants to make sure Mercedes are bulletproof

Championship leader Rosberg, meanwhile, nursed his wounded car home in second place behind Ricciardo, a result that has lifted him 22 points clear of Hamilton.

“The team still got 18 points so we’ll move on and hope we don’t have any more DNFs,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve had a lot of work to do since race one [when he retired in Melbourne].

“When you lose ERS [Energy Recovery System] it doesn’t harvest anymore, then any braking is done by rear braking, so that is why the rear brakes overheated,” said Rosberg. “That made it massively difficult.

“I needed to cool the brakes and lost speed on the straights. I was able to hold off the pack behind me until two laps until the end so it’s still a really good result.

“I was trying to hold on, doing qualifying laps all the time, but it didn’t work out against Daniel.”

Rosberg said the issues showed that Mercedes still had work to do to improve reliability.

“We need to keep pushing,” he said. “We need to make sure that we are bulletproof.”

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