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Mercedes quick to denounce Hamilton's 'sabotage' claims

By Philip Duncan

Published 08/10/2016

Lewis Hamilton's bid to win a hat-trick of consecutive titles hangs in the balance.
Lewis Hamilton's bid to win a hat-trick of consecutive titles hangs in the balance.

Mercedes have hit back at claims of foul play by insisting "anyone with an ounce of intelligence" knows they would not sabotage Lewis Hamilton's car.

Hamilton has been cast 23 points adrift of his sole title rival Nico Rosberg with just five races remaining - starting at tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix - after he suffered another engine failure last Sunday.

The Briton was on course to win in Malaysia only for his engine to blow up. A furious Hamilton said: "Something doesn't feel right. Someone, doesn't want me to win this year."

"I can't agree with you that the driver thinks it is sabotage," said Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe. "Lewis has been very clear, certainly with us, that is completely out of the question, and anyone with an ounce of intelligence would realise that the prospect of us designing a system that would cause a big-end bearing to fail at that precise point in the race [isn't correct].

"If we were good enough to arrange such sabotage we wouldn't have any failures."

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