Lewis Hamilton faces the prospect of starting the second-half of the season on the backfoot after the Mercedes teams confirmation that it’s very likely the Brit will take his engine penalty this weekend.
The penalty is inevitable after poor reliability in the power-unit department earlier in the season and could see Hamilton start from the back of the grid. The question was whether he would take the penalty at Spa or Monza, given that both track provide plenty of overtaking opportunities.
— Jon Noble (@NobleF1) August 24, 2016
Mercedes have confirmed that the announcement on the decision to take the penalty this weekend will be made on Thursday. This gives Rosberg a golden opportunity to stall Hamilton’s momentum in the title race, but the German will need to show more aggression and offensive prowess. He’s looked uncertain of himself in the past few races, his superior Silver Arrow unable to keep in touch with Red Bull.
Whilst the penalty is unfortunate for Lewis, it will give us the chance to see him at his overtaking best. Regardless of the finishing position, Hamilton will be relieved to get the penalty out of the way given that engine woes have haunted him all season.
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 23, 2016
A Mercedes spokesperson confirmed that,
“An engine penalty is likely and confirmation is expected tomorrow [Thursday],”
– Mercedes Spokesperson
Ahead of the race weekend, Hamilton said,
“Spa is a great track – one that every driver enjoys. It was great to finally get back on the top step there last year, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to have another strong race this time around. It’s been such a proud few weeks for British sport, with the Olympics and then Cal Crutchlow becoming the first British MotoGP winner in more than 30 years. I’ll do my best to keep the flag flying this weekend. A big shout-out to the British fans heading out to this one. I’m sure they’ll be out in force as always!”
– Lewis Hamilton
If Rosberg wins, Hamilton only needs to finish 6th to keep ahead in the driver standings. Finishing 7th would see the Mercedes drivers head to Monza equal on points.
— Belgium Trending (@Belgolizer) August 24, 2016