Lewis Hamilton will receive a 10-place grid penalty at the Turkish Grand Prix after Mercedes decided to fit a new engine to his car, taking him over his quota for the season.
For cost-saving reasons, drivers are only allowed to use three engines per year and any additional units over that quota result in grid penalties. There was speculation that Mercedes would fit other new power unit components to Hamilton’s car, such as a new turbocharger and hybrid system, which would have resulted in a back-of-grid penalty, but so far Mercedes has only opted to replace the engine itself, resulting in a lesser ten-place penalty from wherever he qualifies.
The penalty could have ramifications on the title battle, with Hamilton leading his main rival Max Verstappen by two points ahead of this weekend’s race in Turkey.
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Red Bull fitted a complete new power unit to Verstappen’s car at the last round in Russia, taking him over his quota on a number of components and resulting in a back-of-grid penalty, but wet weather at the end of the race allowed him to carve through the field and finish second, minimising the damage to his title campaign.
Hamilton will hope to do the same this weekend and will take some comfort from the fact he won in Turkey last year after starting from sixth place on the grid.
Carlos Sainz also received a grid penalty this weekend after Ferrari fitted a complete new power unit to his car, which will see him start from the back row of the grid.