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Mercedes Puzzled by Engine Problems

Mercedes-Benz are still puzzled by Kimi Raikkonen's engine failures in the last two races

The Finn's title chances have taken a dent after he was forced to take a 10-place grid penalty at both the French and British Grands Prix for having an engine changed prior to the race.

And although Raikkonen's blow-up in France was caused by a bearing failure and Silverstone's problem related to the oil pump, Mercedes-Benz still have no real explanations as to why the dramas have hit them at consecutive races.

Mario Illien, who runs the Ilmor company that builds Mercedes-Benz's F1 engines, admitted that he had no answers.

Speaking about the French Grand Prix failure, Illien said: "The damage to the parts was so severe that it was almost impossible to investigate why exactly the bearing had failed.

"This shall not be an excuse, but up to Magny-Cours 2005 we had had no engine failure for almost a year. We do not look very good having two failures within a week, but the fact remains that there was nothing for almost a year."

The frustration for Mercedes-Benz at Silverstone was that the pump failure itself would have been relatively easy to fix, but Autosport-Atlas understands that to have done so would require one of the FIA's three engine seals to be broken.

That would have made it an official engine change, which meant it was a no-brainer to give Raikkonen a brand new latest-spec engine for the Silverstone race instead.

"Regarding what happened at Silverstone, we had a primary shaft for the pumps fail," added Illien. "I think the last problem of that kind had been on Mika Hakkinen's car five or six years ago."

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