Mercedes has decided to let Lewis Hamilton drive a new combustion engine during the Brazilian GP. That news was already in the air on Thursday, but the top team did not want to confirm at the time.
Source: The Telegraph
It will be Hamilton’s fifth combustion engine of the season. That will put him on a five-place grid penalty in Brazil. Other parts of the Mercedes power unit are not changed. Hamilton was previously punished in Turkey for the same offense. Because it was his first offense then, it was a 10-place penalty.
Hamilton’s penalty does not start until Sunday. That means that he can start at the forefront on Saturday during the sprint race, in which the starting grid for the race is determined. Qualifying will take place for that sprint race on Friday (8 p.m. Belgian time).
Mercedes has had some problems with the reliability of the engine this season. A fresh variant also gives Hamilton a boost in power unit performance. With an engine that has already ‘run’ a lot, the quality always deteriorates.
Hamilton is nineteen points behind Max Verstappen in the World Cup position. There are still four races to go.