Motor racing-Hamilton to take hefty grid penalty in Belgian GP

Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:51am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium, (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s Belgian Formula One Grand Prix from near the back of the grid due to an engine-related penalty, but the championship leader is confident the setback will not halt his momentum.

The Mercedes driver is set to take a hefty penalty for exceeding his allowed allocation of engine components after early-season reliability woes left him short of parts.

“As far as I’m aware, we will be taking the penalty this weekend,” the Mercedes driver told reporters at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Thursday.

“I have no engines left.”

How many places he will drop on the grid, however, remains unclear with a team spokesman saying the Briton was expected to start at or very close to the back of the grid.

Drivers are limited to using a maximum of five power units, and the respective components that comprise them, over the course of a season.

Any breach is punished with a sliding scale of grid penalties while taking on a completely fresh power unit forces a driver to start at the very back of the grid.

Hamilton was long aware that he would have to drop places on the grid in either Belgium or at the next race in Italy, with both held on fast circuits that offer greater opportunities for overtaking.   Continued...

Germany Formula One - F1 - German Grand Prix 2016 - Hockenheimring, Germany - 31/7/16 - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski