The chances for Lewis Hamilton avoiding an engine penalty are becoming slim.
This comes after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted there are question marks surrounding his driver’s engines. This comes as Hamilton is locked in a tight battle for the 2021 Formula 1 championship with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen with just two points seperating them currently after Hamilton 100th win in Sochi last weekend.
The seven time world champion is currently using his third and final permitted engine with just only seven races left on the 2021 Formula 1 calendar. However, thre is speculation that Hamilton has to fit a fourth engine which will lead to a grid penalty.
Red Bull gave Verstappen a fourth engine fit in Sochi last weekend which saw the dutchman start from the back of the grid, but managed to finish the race second after chaotic final laps. This was very impressive regarding the damage limitation for Verstappen’s championship hopes.
Red Bull’s move is now giving Mercedes a headache regarding engine options for Lewis Hamilton. His teammate Valtteri Bottas got two consecutive engine penalties in Russia and Italy after the team changed his engines in the two rounds.
“I think we haven’t only made the cautionary engine change because we felt we wanted to stockpile, but also because we want to understand the engine’s performance – and that has given us some question marks,” Toto Wolff said.
“We’re just taking it one race weekend at a time – and [then we’ll] reassess the performance of the power units and then take decisions.
“At the moment we are reassessing the performance of the power units because we have question marks, and therefore haven’t decided which engines would go back into the pool.”