Lewis Hamilton may take Turkish GP penalty that would hand Max Verstappen advantage


Lewis Hamilton may take an engine penalty at the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend that would hand Max Verstappen a strong chance to reclaim the lead of the Drivers’ Championship. With the championship battle finely poised, Formula One heads to Istanbul for the 16th of 22 races this season.

And Mercedes are mulling over whether or not to take an engine penalty for Hamilton in Turkey or at another race.

The seven-time world champion has already used up the maximum permitted three engines this season and with seven races left of the year, will almost certainly have to use a fourth to avoid the possibility of breaking down mid-race.

Hamilton is only two points clear of Verstappen although accepting a penalty in Turkey will see him start 20th on the grid, just as Verstappen did at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Clever thinking from Red Bull and fortuitous weather conditions allowed the Dutchman to minimise the damage as he finished second as Hamilton won the race, clinching his 100th F1 victory in the process.

And Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits it is possible that Hamilton accepts a penalty of his own at the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park this weekend.

He told Sky Sports News: “It’s a possibility. When, and how, is not yet decided.

“Most important is that you don’t DNF because of a reliability issue.

“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.”

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