Belgian GP: Hamilton gets new Mercedes power unit and grid penalty

Lewis Hamilton has been handed a fresh Formula 1 power unit for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix

Belgian GP: Hamilton gets new Mercedes power unit and grid penalty

Mercedes has confirmed that prior to the start of the first practice at Spa, both Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg's cars were fitted with new systems.

For Hamilton it means a fourth new internal combustion engine and MGU-K, but crucially a sixth MGU-H and turbo.

At this stage Hamilton will serve a 15-place grid penalty as taking a sixth of one of the elements incurs a drop of 10 places, while the sixth of any of the remaining elements is an additional five places,

For Rosberg, it is the fourth of all those elements.

There remains the possibility Mercedes may yet introduce a further new power unit into Hamilton's pool of systems over the course of the weekend, to get him through to the end of the season.

Should the team opt to pursue such a route, Hamilton would again incur a further 15-place penalty as that would mean him taking a seventh MGU-H and turbo.

In reality, however, the current championship leader would only drop to the back of the grid.

Hamilton has a 19-point cushion over Rosberg after winning six of the last seven races - including the last four - to overhaul what was previously a 43-point deficit to the German.

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