Lewis Hamilton is braced to endure more twists in the 2016 campaign. He looks to have found his form again after picking up solid back-to-back victories in Monaco and Montreal, but the mechanical issues he had early on in the season are set to bite back in the form of grid penalties, meaning that the Brit will likely have to start some of the next few races behind the front-row.
Hamilton’s title hopes are in the ascendancy – He was 43 points adrift of Rosberg two weeks ago. After finding his flow again, Hamilton heads to the new Baku street circuit just 9 points adrift of Rosberg. On the other hand, Rosberg’s had an awful time… He picked 100 points up in the opening four races, but has only picked up 16 points in the last three races.
Form and fortune have fluctuated dramatically between the Mercedes pairing, and Hamilton is already aware of the challenge that his inevitable grid penalties will impose. Because F1 rules restrict each driver to five engines over the entire season, Hamilton is close to exhausting that figure.
The neutral will look forward to these weekends, simply for the chance to watch Hamilton pass his way up the grid. The Mercedes team will be hoping that no more mechanical gremlins occur though, as the penalty situation already looks burdening.
Regarding his situation, Hamilton said,
“I know l have fewer engines, so l know beyond the break it is likely l will need to take a sixth engine. I know that at some stage l am going to start last and that joker that will come along and play an integral part at a race weekend.”