Lewis Hamilton will take a 10-place grid penalty at the Turkish Grand Prix after taking new Mercedes engine. The reigning world champion will receive a new internal combustion engine from Mercedes for the 16th race of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
After Max Verstappen in Russia, title rival Lewis Hamilton can also prepare for a catch-up, but then in Turkey. Toto Wolff has been turned around several times about whether or not to take a motor grid penalty, but during the first free practice at Istanbul Park there was still clarity. Mercedes grabs the fourth internal combustion engine (ICE) at the Briton and incurs a grid penalty of ten places.
It is striking that Mercedes does not immediately replace all engine components, as Red Bull Racing did in the previous race weekend. Although such an announcement may also follow later in the weekend, it seems to be customization from Mercedes. For example, Hamilton can still rotate with two of the three engines used so far. The first engine has reached the end of its life during the free practice sessions in Zandvoort, but the other two are still usable. Wolff has already indicated that Mercedes looks per engine component whether it is comfortable to finish the year with the current items in the pool or not.
For the internal combustion engine the answer turned out to be ‘no’ and so Hamilton grabs the fourth copy. It puts him ten places back, but has turned out to be a risk assessment. Mercedes expects to give up a few points this weekend due to the grid penalty, but last week it was exactly five years ago that Hamilton’s engine exploded in Malaysia and that the Briton missed the world title precisely because of this. In 2021, Mercedes is on the safe side with a grid penalty as a result. “In our view, a zero score costs four races, and then also four wins, to make up for it,” explains Wolff. An additional advantage is that overtaking on the Istanbul Park circuit is possible.
Sainz set for Turkey F1 grid penalty after Ferrari engine change
In addition to Hamilton’s grid penalty, the FIA has also confirmed what we already knew: Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz will start the Turkish GP at the back. Following Charles Leclerc, the Scuderia also wants to provide him with the new, further developed power source. All other engine suppliers have already made the only allowed upgrade for the season, but Ferrari decided to keep the powder dry until the second half of the season. Where Hamilton gets a component of exactly the same specification as before, the Ferrari man can therefore count on small progress – although Ferrari does not want to quantify that itself. Ferrari logically replaces all engine components with the ICE, MGU-H, MGU-K, turbo, battery and control electronics. Sainz will start at the very back on Sunday.