Mercedes, Interlagos, 2021

Hamilton to take grid penalty at Interlagos after another engine change

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton will take a five-place grid drop penalty at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix following another engine change.

Mercedes have fitted the a fresh internal combustion engine to Hamilton’s power unit, his fifth of the season, further exceeding the maximum allocation of three. Formula 1 rules stipulate a five-place drop for this second violation.

The penalty will be applied to Hamilton’s starting position in Sunday’s grand prix. He will start Saturday’s sprint qualifying race in the position he takes in the qualifying session later this afternoon.

Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas is already on his sixth engine. All eight Mercedes-powered drivers in the field have exceeded their minimum allocation of three. Lando Norris became the final driver to take a penalty for a replacement, at last week’s Mexican Grand Prix.

The only other driver to have a new power unit component fitted this weekend is Charles Leclerc, who has a new exhaust on his Ferrari. He will not incur a penalty.

Power unit components used so far

No. Car Engine Driver ICE TC MGU-H MGU-K ES CE EX
77 Mercedes Mercedes Valtteri Bottas 6 5 5 4 2 3 6
14 Alpine Renault Fernando Alonso 4 4 4 4 3 3 9
31 Alpine Renault Esteban Ocon 4 4 4 4 3 3 9
11 Red Bull Honda Sergio Perez 4 4 4 4 4 4 7
10 AlphaTauri Honda Pierre Gasly 4 4 4 4 3 3 7
33 Red Bull Honda Max Verstappen 4 4 4 4 3 3 7
22 AlphaTauri Honda Yuki Tsunoda 4 4 4 4 3 3 7
55 Ferrari Ferrari Carlos Sainz Jnr 4 4 4 3 3 3 7
16 Ferrari Ferrari Charles Leclerc 4 4 4 3 3 3 7
4 McLaren Mercedes Lando Norris 4 4 4 3 2 2 6
5 Aston Martin Mercedes Sebastian Vettel 4 4 4 3 2 2 5
18 Aston Martin Mercedes Lance Stroll 4 4 4 2 2 3 4
3 McLaren Mercedes Daniel Ricciardo 4 4 4 2 2 2 4
31 Williams Mercedes Nicholas Latifi 4 4 4 2 2 2 4
63 Williams Mercedes George Russell 4 4 4 2 2 2 4
44 Mercedes Mercedes Lewis Hamilton 5 3 3 3 2 2 4
7 Alfa Romeo Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen 3 3 3 2 2 2 7
99 Alfa Romeo Ferrari Antonio Giovinazzi 3 3 3 2 2 2 7
47 Haas Ferrari Mick Schumacher 3 3 3 2 2 2 6
9 Haas Ferrari Nikita Mazepin 3 3 3 2 2 2 6

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2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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11 comments on “Hamilton to take grid penalty at Interlagos after another engine change”

  1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    12th November 2021, 15:38

    Not really a surprise, as I was wondering how Mercedes could fix a proper issue in an existing PU. But really interesting to see if they can get quite a big chunk extra power in the last few races and maybe force Red Bull to do the same.

    1. Yeah but if they lose this one to Max again, he can just get the title with 3 second places.

    2. Extra power? I wouldn’t expect much. It was already a pretty new engine. I’m pretty sure they’d rather have those starting positions, since they mustn’t lose this race. If Red Bull plays this one well this could be it.

  2. There we go. Seems a smart move. I can see some shenanigans happening at the start of the sprint race to try and make Max start from the back…. He’ll have to be extremely careful.

  3. Expected. He can easily win 3 points with the brand new engine.

    1. clearly this was before FP1 where Redbull have at least 0.5 advantage per lap… Why do people just assume Mercedes can win everwhere? Redbull have had the better car througout the year.

      1. Last I checked, Red Bull was not 0.5s quicker in FP1…

  4. Helmut Marko already stated that RBR suspect Hamilton will incur another penalty before the end of season which panned out to be true. Also Toto’s usual political correct comments after Hamilton’s penalty in Turkey was a clear indication of a potential penalty.

  5. It’s a joke that after the first penalty change you only lose five places. It needs to be moved to ten.

    1. Agreed, with DRS its not enough of a punishment.

    2. I think 5 places is more than enough (though I am an L Hamilton fan)

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