Lewis Hamilton Explains Extreme Measures He’s Undertaken to Avoid F1 Engine Penalties

Published 09/30/2021, 6:16 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


The last few weeks have been very significant in terms of the two championship title contender teams trying to strategize and manage their engine and the penalties that they will receive if they change their engines. Max Verstappen took a penalty in the Russian GP when he had to take a new engine. Experts seem to think that his rival Lewis Hamilton will also have to take a new engine sometime in the near future.

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Thus, Lewis will suffer a penalty as well. However, amidst all these speculations, Hamilton has admitted that he is trying to nurse his two remaining power units as much as he can.

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Lewis Hamilton trying to save his engines

Given how close the championship battle is at the moment, taking a penalty due to an engine change and costs Mercedes heavily. Therefore, the seven-time world champion is trying to save the engines as much as possible. After taking a new engine at Zandvoort, he has two new power units left.

I lost an engine and I’m trying to stress the ones I still have as little as possible – explained Hamilton – I try to limit the laps on the track as much as possible and run at full speed only when strictly necessary.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 18: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP talks with race engineer Peter Bonnington during the red flag delay during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 18, 2021, in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“I have absolutely no idea whether or not it will be necessary to introduce a fourth power unit, for my part, I am trying to do what is in my power to avoid this scenario.”, he said.

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It will become clear in the weeks to come whether Mercedes do need a fourth power unit, or they can make do with what they have.

Rain at Sochi helped alleviate Red Bull’s penalty

Max Verstappen and Red Bull have already dealt with their side of the issue at Sochi when they took a new power unit and got a penalty and had to start from the back of the grid. It was necessary for Max to take a new power unit because the team identified a fault with the engine that had been on the car when max suffered a huge crash at Copse at Silverstone. So, they had to discard that engine and replace it with a new one.

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Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 25, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during qualifying REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

However, Red Bull kind of got away with the penalty because the chaos created by the rain in the later stages of the race in Sochi allowed Verstappen to climb up to the second position even after starting last. Without the rain, Max would have finished in the seventh position, losing more points to Hamilton.

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Riddhi Mondal

72 articles

Riddhi Mondal is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport.

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