Lewis Hamilton has taken responsibility for his back of the grid engine penalty for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend.
The Mercedes driven by the seven-time F1 champion will use a new power unit for the race at Monza, exceeding the season’s allowed limit and dropping him to the back of the pack.
However, Hamilton has kept his composure despite the fact that he will have a challenging race on Sunday as a result of his first-lap accident with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.
The 37-year-old’s Mercedes W13 was propelled into the air and then crashed to the ground with a 46g impact, damaging the power unit components as he was forced to retire a few turns later.
“The third engine I had, brand new in Spa, is still being worked on so I can’t use it right now. I have to take a fourth, so that’s my doing,” the British driver said. “We’re still hopeful we can use that later on, so I’ve got to recover the best I can from the back.”
When asked how it felt to be in Italy knowing that he might receive grid penalties, he added: “As good as I can feel. Of course, you would always feel better if you came off a win, but we’ve been making so much progress as a team.”
“We’re closing the gap more weekend after weekend and, of course, we don’t know how the car is going to be here this weekend.”
“Whether or not it will be as good as it was in the last race, we will find out.”
Although Mercedes has made steady progress during the season, the team struggled throughout the Belgian Grand Prix weekend due to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit’s relatively low downforce.
Hamilton was on track for a probable victory at the Zandvoort circuit’s increased downforce for last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix until late circumstances worked against him.
Although the flatter shape of the track is not anticipated to be as adverse to its performance as Spa, Mercedes has downplayed its chances for this weekend as it returns to another low-downforce location in Monza.
“I don’t think it can be worse. That’s the positive way of looking at it.,” Hamilton grinned when asked if he was certain that the weekend at Monza would be better than the one in Belgium. “It can’t be worse than Spa, I don’t think. I think it will be a lot better here.”