Malaysian GP cost Hamilton the title - Wolff

Malaysian GP cost Hamilton the title - Wolff
By AutoSport

01/12/2016 at 10:45Updated

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton's engine failure in the Malaysian Grand Prix cost him the Formula 1 world championship.

Hamilton was on course for a comfortable victory at Sepang when his engine expired, forcing him to retire while team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg took third.

That meant Rosberg extended his championship lead to 23 points rather than Hamilton moving into the lead by five points.

Hamilton ultimately fell 33 points adrift and though he won the final four races of the season, he lost out on the title to Rosberg by five points.

"This year, clearly Malaysia cost him the championship," said Wolff.

"You need to win and to lose with dignity.

"This is a mechanical sport, if they sat on the floor on the starting grid they wouldn't go far.

"This team has built them the best car over the last three years and has made them win races and championships.

"This team has let them down on occasions - fewer occasions letting them down than the ones they can celebrate."

Much of the discussion after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in which Hamilton led Rosberg home, was focused on Hamilton backing up the field.

But Wolff said that shouldn't overshadow Rosberg's achievement in winning his maiden F1 world championship.

"We've been spending the last 10 minutes on Lewis and this situation without recognising Nico and his achievements," he said.

"Racing against the most talented driver as a team-mate and winning a world championship and making it close the years before it quite an achievement.

"We should honour that, because he is a tough cookie and he doesn't let go.

"There is quite some remarkable character traits about him that make him a world champion and a worthy world champion."