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Hamilton "likely" to take engine penalty at Spa

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Hamilton "likely" to take engine penalty at Spa
By:
Aug 24, 2016, 9:13 AM

Lewis Hamilton is 'likely' to take a grid penalty for using new engine components at the Belgian Grand Prix, his Mercedes team says, although confirmation is not expected until Thursday.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid in parc ferme
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with the fans
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid in parc ferme

A spate of power unit problems earlier in the campaign meant that the world champion has reached his limit of certain components, having run his fifth and final turbo and MGU-H.

Hamilton has long been mindful that at some point he would need to use extra parts and therefore suffer a grid penalty.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said prior to the summer break that the German car manufacturer was considering either Belgium or Italy to be the best venues for Hamilton to take the hit, as they are easier tracks for overtaking than venues coming up later.

The issue Mercedes has had to weigh up is just how many components Hamilton will change, and whether or not it is actually worth giving him two extra brand new components

Hamilton will get a 10-place penalty for the first time a sixth component is used, and then a further five-place penalty when the second sixth component is added.

So adding extra components into the mix will not result in that much more of a penalty as he will be near the back of the grid anyway.

Plus it would at least give him a pool of power unit components to comfortably see him through the rest of the campaign.

Upgrade plans

The decision on what Hamilton does is also likely to be impacted on Mercedes' engine upgrade plans, the team having spent just two in-season development tokens.

It would be most logical for Hamilton to be fitted with upgrade components if possible, which could mean that the team may be poised to introduce some developments as early as this weekend.

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