Lewis Hamilton's DNF at Sunday's Singapore night race may've been the straw that broke the camel's back.
For weeks now, there's been speculation about Hamilton's future - is he going to Mercedes or staying at McLaren? I'm pretty sure his mind's leaning towards partnering his good mate Nico Rosberg at Merc.
The Brit suffered his third retirement in five races and has all but lost his shot at this year's World Driver's Championship. Pity, because McLaren look to have the overall package and at the hands of Hamilton a car capable of raking in win after win after win. If only McLaren's reliability didn't throw a spanner in the works. Both Hamilton and teammate Jenson Button have suffered mechanical failures when in strong, points-paying positions. Is this sudden lack of reliability enough to send Lewis packing?
The conspiracy theorists out there will tell you that Ron Dennis, Martin Whitmarsh and the other bigwigs at McLaren favour Button and have a clear agenda against Hamilton. That view was certainly fuelled by a dubious radio message from Hamilton's stand-in race engineer after his gearbox failed on Sunday. Basically Hamilton's engineer apologised to him, saying they did all they could after qualifying to rectify the issue - meaning they knew about the problem but chose to hide it from Hamilton. McLaren of course vehemently denied any prior knowledge of the failure.
Was their silence about the issue to "protect" Hamilton and hope that the gearbox lasts or did they just not care enough to tell him he's driving a crocked car?
Either way, relations between Hamilton and McLaren have appeared strained and even his victory celebrations are a lot more subdued of late. But what does Hamilton do? Does he leave a team capable of giving him a fast (albeit at times unreliable) car, and a pit-crew capable of servicing his car in record time or does he go to a team who've achieved only one win in three seasons? Then again, money plays a big role too. It's widely reported that Hamilton will take a huge paycut if he stays with McLaren but will get close to what he wants at Mercedes with the added incentive of being the undisputed number one driver in the team.
Certainly not a decision to be made lightly.