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Hamilton in danger of Abu Dhabi engine penalty

  • Published on 15 Nov 2018 15:39
  • comments 10
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton could receive a grid penalty for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in just over a week. Mercedes reported after the Brazil race last weekend that the Briton's engine was damaged during the event.

Hamilton managed to win the race after Max Verstappen was spun around by Esteban Ocon, who was being lapped. The 33-year-old was forced to nurse his car home, and crossed the line 1.5 seconds ahead of a chasing Verstappen.

James Vowles, the chief engineer at the Silver Arrows, explained that a number of changes had to be made to Hamilton's engine to ensure that it got to the end of the race without failing.

"If we just go back a little bit and look at what happened in the race, after the first pit stop with Lewis we noticed quite a significant problem, which required a huge amount of input from a number of sources," stated Vowles.

"We have a team back in the UK at Brixworth who work alongside us on the intercom, and we have a huge team trackside working together diligently to understand what we can change on the engine to get to the end of the race.

"They did a fantastic job. It wasn't one change - it was a huge number of changes across a 40 - 50 lap period, where they were working with Lewis to adjust various componentry and get that Power Unit to the end of the race. They did a fantastic job."

Hamilton's victory in Brazil marked the first time he won a race immediately after winning the world championship. The damaged engine will be inspected on the build-up to Abu Dhabi before it is decided if a fresh one will be used for the final race of the year. 

"The engine has sustained some level of damage - but we don't yet understand what," added Vowles. "It has to be inspected and understood before we can make any decision going forward to Abu Dhabi."

Replies (10)

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  • Last race of the season with a brand new engine and the challenge of fighting through the field for a win, bring it on! Should make for some good racing. Stick Verstappen back there too for good measure and added excitement.

    • + 0
    • Nov 15 2018 - 18:46
  • sadosalo

    Posts: 198

    Yes Hamilton and wingman Bottas exiting racing? its a procession total boring killing F1.
    But yes in Abu watch it now Hamilton can pass Ocon, like in Monaco Ocon stopped dead to let Hamilton by, exiting racing? LOL.this type of racing kills F1 not by talent but budget, every one can win a tittle in a Mercedes for the last 5 years. Rosberg, Button, Alonso, Kimi, Vettel, LeClerc, Gasly, Perez, Hulkenberg, Magnussen just put them in that car same result. Did you guys notice that since Hamilton put on his intelligent glasses he comments on things he better not, better focus on own stuff like your plane, boat, houses, music and don't talk about India, poverty, E cars, vegan and green peace stuff Lewis, please.

    • + 0
    • Nov 16 2018 - 04:40
    • Sauber and Haas let Ferarri go by all the time; Force India is doing it for Mercedes while Toro Rosso for Red Bull... Williams, McLaren, Renault should build an alliance against these mighty powers

      • + 0
      • Nov 16 2018 - 11:16
    • I didn't know we had trolls in F1Today. I guess there's always a first

      • + 0
      • Nov 16 2018 - 17:19
    • All the midfield drivers let them go by if you are paying attention. How do you think Verstappen gets through the field so fast? Midfield drivers know they are not racing the top three teams and it's not worth destroying their tires or race fighting a front runner. Also in the case of Max they know if they don't let him go by he will crash into them. I get it that Ocon has some loyalty to Toto but to suggest that he is hindering or helping someone else's race is just conspiracy theory. As much as I don't particularly like Hamilton, I have to acknowledge that he is probably the best driver on the grid at this time, on his own merit, not because races were handed to him, which some certainly were. So I don't agree that any other driver would do as good as him. Rosberg left the sport because of the pressure of having to compete against him. The Hamster just keeps fighting back and coming back better time after time. That's a true champion, not someone who has to crash into his rivals in order to win races and podiums, or someone who lets their ego cloud their judgement on the racetrack like Verstappen and Vettel.

      • + 0
      • Nov 16 2018 - 17:48
  • Penalty grids for front runners is nothing else than art of entertainment (someone remember Pioneer F1 commercial back in 1991/1992?)

    • + 0
    • Nov 16 2018 - 08:16
  • I'd prefer engine penalties. If he doesnt, he will just engine save the entire race and quali, and that aint for me. Judging by how it smoked like a COPD patient on an all you can smoke buffet during quali in Brazil, I'd say it could even go so far as to be a retirement if they dont replace it.

    • + 0
    • Nov 16 2018 - 16:16
    • I don't see how they can go through without changing the engine. Besides, how underwhelming would that be... to DNF the last race. Ferrari would win the race of course, and maybe that soothes them a bit, helping them forget that for a second consecutive year they threw away a championship.

      • + 0
      • Nov 16 2018 - 17:40
    • Yeah, as I say the only way I can see them making it through is by engine saving, and even then I dont think its likely that they would survive the weekend. Nah, let us end the season with an "okay I guess" rather than a whimper... Have I ever mentioned that I generally dont think Abu Dhabi tend to provide for interesting races?

      • + 0
      • Nov 16 2018 - 19:45
  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    What happened to the driver without assistence rule

    • + 0
    • Nov 16 2018 - 23:41

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