Lewis Hamilton could start at the BACK of the grid for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend as Toto Wolff admits Mercedes are considering changing his power unit – just a fortnight after rival Max Verstappen did the same
- Lewis Hamilton currently leads the F1 drivers’ championship by just two points
- He could start from the back of the grid at the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday
- Mercedes are considering changing his engine, like Max Verstappen in Russia
- Verstappen fought from the back of the grid to finish second, behind Hamilton
Formula One’s enticing title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is set to get even tighter after Mercedes admitted they could change the former’s power unit this week – putting him at the back of the grid for the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton currently leads the drivers’ championship by just two points from his Red Bull rival, with the pair consistently leapfrogging each other throughout the season.
In F1, drivers are allowed to use three different engines over the course of the season, and incur sanctions if they go beyond that.
Lewis Hamilton could start at the back on Sunday as Mercedes consider changing his engine
The seven-time world champion (right) is just two points ahead of Max Verstappen this season
Hamilton (front) only just beat Verstappen in Russia, despite the latter starting at the back
Championship leader Hamilton has already used his full allocation but Mercedes have not yet confirmed whether or not they will replace it this week.
Last time out, Verstappen used his fourth engine in the build-up to the race in Russia but managed to fight from the back to finish second, keeping Hamilton’s advantage to a minimum.
And now Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that Hamilton could now take the same option this weekend, putting the Brit in a similar position to Verstappen just a fortnight ago.
Speaking ahead of the Turkish race this weekend, Wolff said of the power unit change: ‘It’s a possibility. When, and how, is not yet decided. Most important is that you don’t DNF because of a reliability issue.
Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes could follow Red Bull and replace their power unit
Hamilton is hoping to win a record eighth world drivers championship at the end of 2021
‘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.’
There are seven races left of the 2021 season, with Turkey, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi still to come.