Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff, has confirmed that at some point between now and the end of the season, Lewis Hamilton will have to take an engine penalty.
The British World Champion is driving with his third engine this season already – the max allowed in one season – and so, in the likely event that it needs replacing once more, the team will have to work the penalty into their strategy.
Speaking with Sky Sports, Wolff said that timing is everything, but that a DNF for avoiding the change would be worse than receiving the penalty at one of the remaining Grands Prix.
Speaking about the change, he said; “It’s a possibility.
“When, and how, is not yet decided.
“Most important is that you don’t DNF because of a reliability issue,” Wolff continued.
“You can cope with swings, whether you finish second, third, I think that is OK, the championship is going to go long. But if you don’t finish.
“So we are looking at the parameters of the engines, making sure we don’t suffer from any reliability problems.”
As we head to Turkey this weekend for the second time since 2011, Mercedes will be hoping to carry over Hamilton’s past luck at the Istanbul Park circuit.
“Lewis has been tremendous there,” said Wolff.
“But we have to take each race at a time.
“It’s so difficult, the cars are so close.
“I’m curious to see how this championship evolves.”