Lewis Hamilton is edging dangerously close to a grid penalty ahead of the Austrian GP when Mercedes used up the last of his allocated power units.
Each driver is allowed five power units per season before they start racking up their grid penalties and Lewis Hamilton has been burning through them of late. A disastrous showing at Sochi meant that he used quite a bit more than he should have. In all likelihood, he’ll have to use a sixth over the 13 remaining races. The consequences? A 15-place drop in one of the future races.
But the obvious setbacks he will suffer are not what he’s really down in the dumps about.
“The worst thing is that I am the only Mercedes driver [including drivers at custom teams] to have this, so for sure it’s difficult for us as a team and it’s difficult considering we are the Mercedes team, so you wouldn’t expect it to happen.
“If there are 40 engines, you would hope we would have the best of 40, but that’s just the way it goes and I’ll just have to do the best I can with the one I have now and hopefully the next one or two I get, it doesn’t happen”
He’s a man who likes to stand out, but not for the wrong reasons. This is certainly not the kind of publicity or distinction he wants. As the star driver of one of the most visible teams on the circuit, focus is already zeroed in on him. It simply doesn’t look good that he’s also the only driver in Mercedes who needs an extra leg up. We don’t know what he can do to salvage the situation but it would require quite a bombastic showing against rival Rosberg, who’s still running full throttle on all cylinders.