Interesting question..........the thought crossed my mind too.
I think it may be no coincidence that Kimi has more than his "fair" share of failures - two contributors
#1 - Quite possibly (probable if you believe all you read
) - he is hard on his equipment
#2 - I think that the way a driver is has a tiny (unconscious) effect on his mechanics and engineers. If a driver is always there, always giving his best - then the mechanics will always be that tiny bit more careful. Conversley if a driver sends out the signal he is "just there to drive" - that little edge may be missing in car preparation.
Not for a second do I think it would be deliberate, or even that the mechanics would be aware (both sides of the garage will work equally hard) - just on one side a little bit of magic may happen.
On such differences a championship can be won & lost. Look at McLaren now compared to last season - two totally different drivers.............
Of course - if Kimi starts rocking in that car people will love him and the momentum will get behind him