Lewis Hamilton puts the brakes on the new engine for his title-chasing Mercedes amid fears it could lead to a serious setback in his tense championship battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen
- Mercedes is concerned about the reliability of its two remaining powerplants
- Hamilton could be sent to the back of the grid due to an engine change
- He has a two-point lead over Verstappen for the Turkish Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton has urged his Mercedes team not to rush a new engine into his title chasing car.
The world champion knows that if he is sent to the back of the grid as a result of the change, it could be a serious setback in his exciting championship battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
But Mercedes is concerned about the reliability of the two remaining powerplants available to Hamilton and is keen not to expose him to a potential DNF (did not finish). The consequences of this could be even more damaging to the British driver’s title chance.
Lewis Hamilton arrived at the track in Turkey on Thursday in a flamboyant blue kilt
At the start of Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix, Hamilton has a delicate two-point lead over the Dutchman, who got a new engine in Russia and finished in a remarkable, damage-limiting second place. Seven races remain, including this weekend’s.
Hamilton said: ‘At the moment I still have engines number two and three. I don’t think we should take the penalty now, but that could change.’
Three engines is the maximum that can be used per season without having to serve a fine. For tomorrow’s qualifying, a decision will be made about sticking or turning.
Rain is forecast for the race, increasing the chances of another exciting afternoon in this entertaining season.
The Mercedes ace could be sent to the back of the grid as a result of an engine swap
Hamilton, who came to the track in a flamboyant blue kilt (left), insisted the pressure of the title race didn’t touch him.
“I find it easy because I have these other outlets (like travel and fashion) so I can blow off steam in different ways,” he said. “I know what drives me and what keeps me on track and what can take me off course, so I stick to that.
“What a great season it has been – super exciting for fans, very exciting. We finally see two teams neck and neck.
“Of course we want to win, but you have to learn not to let that overtake everything in your life.”
Hamilton has a delicate two-point lead over Max Verstappen ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix