Despite going into the summer break with a 19-point lead and clear momentum in the race to the title against ‘for sure’ rival Nico Rosberg, Hamilton is more than aware that attrition from earlier in the season still has its part to play.
Where Rosberg has had a relatively trouble free opening half to 2016 in the V6 power unit department, Hamilton has suffered massively. He’s currently on his fifth and final engine, and will need to bear the penalty for using a sixth engine at some point.
Instead of just taking on a sixth engine and suffering the penalty, most believe that Hamilton will take a seventh engine too so that there is no danger of having to take engine penalties on two separate race weekends. This means that Hamilton will be starting at the back of the grid for one the upcoming weekends.
The Brit said,
“I’m conscious that there’s going to be at least one more race where I’m further behind and I don’t know how much I’m going to be able to limit the damage.Now, the Red Bulls have picked up their pace, and it might be difficult to get past them, to even get into the top five. I’m conscious of that.It’s still not enough because I’m not a race win ahead yet. I hope I’ll be able to get a race win ahead and then I’ll feel like I am ahead.”
– Lewis Hamilton
Spa and Monza provide excellent overtaking opportunities so a safe bet would be for Mercedes and Hamilton to endure the penalties there. The sooner, the better for Hamilton. It gives Rosberg a free race but we can’t expect the second half of the season to be DNF free for Mercedes.