Further engine change for Hamilton as penalties rack up

Lewis Hamilton - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lewis Hamilton has taken a further engine change overnight, and his total grid penalties now total 55 positions at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver had already acquired two 15-place grid penalties for taking his sixth and seventh MGU-H and turbochargers on Friday, but went into Saturday’s final practice session with an eighth MGU-H and turbocharger, a sixth MGU-K and a sixth Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), meaning an additional 25-place penalty.

The penalties handed out to Hamilton can only be taken at Spa-Francorchamps, so Mercedes are maximising the Briton’s pool of parts for the remainder of the session safe in the knowledge that he will start at the back of the grid on Sunday and not take any subsequent penalties for the changes.

Mercedes had used five of its remaining engine tokens heading into this weekend on updating its power unit, with Hamilton now having three of those units available to him for the remaining nine races of the year, including Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

The reigning World Drivers’ Champion currently sits nineteen points ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in this years’ standings, with the German looking likely to be in with a chance of reducing the gap this weekend due to Hamilton’s penalties.