Lewis Hamilton is handed a FIVE-PLACE grid penalty at the Brazilian Grand Prix after Mercedes decide to change his engine again in major blow to champion’s hopes of chasing down leader Max Verstappen
- Lewis Hamilton has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the Brazilian GP
- The Mercedes driver has been punished for changing his engine for a fifth time
- Hamilton’s latest penalty serves as a blow in his pursuit of Max Verstappen
- The Red Bull star holds a 19-point lead with just four races remaining this season
Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of winning a record-breaking eighth Formula One title have taken a major dent with the Mercedes driver handed a five-place grid penalty for a change of engine in Brazil.
FIA documents have confirmed that Mercedes have opted for a new Internal Combustion Engine for Hamilton’s car ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos this weekend, resulting in a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.
Hamilton enters the final four races of this season 19 points behind Red Bull title rival Max Verstappen and so this latest penalty threatens to be costly.
Lewis Hamilton has been hit with a five-place grid penalty at the Brazilian Grand Prix
Mercedes have changed Hamilton’s engine heading into the race at the Interlagos circuit
When asked about the possibility of a change of engine on Thursday night, Hamilton was coy, but refused to rule it out.
‘I cannot really comment (on a new engine) at the moment,’ Hamilton, 36, said. ‘As far as I am aware, my engines are fine, but I will find out later on.’
The five-place penalty will not be imposed for the Sprint, but he will line up on the grid for Sunday’s race five places lower than his finishing position on Saturday.
Hamilton, who has won just one of the last eight races, is taking on a fifth power unit of the season after changing it in Turkey last month, only to finish fifth in Istanbul and three spots behind title favourite Verstappen.
Asked how steep the challenge is to stage a four-race comeback to crown himself the champion once more, Hamilton said: ‘I would imagine as steep as it can be. I think their pace was phenomenal in the last race.
‘They’ve had a strong car all year. They’ve had the strongest car all year, you can tell obviously. I think we’ve done as good as we think we could.’
Hamilton is chasing Max Verstappen for the title but the penalty could dash his hopes