Hamilton could miss next Mercedes engine upgrade to avoid penalties

Lewis Hamilton accepts he could miss out on a Mercedes Formula 1 engine upgrade later in the season due to being over his allocation for the season already

Hamilton could miss next Mercedes engine upgrade to avoid penalties

The world championship leader will start at the back of the field in the Belgian Grand Prix due to a 55-place penalty he has received for taking three fresh power units this weekend.

While that gives Hamilton an allocation of engines for the rest of the year, it also means he would have to take another grid penalty later in the season if Mercedes wanted to give him another upgraded specification.

"They are constantly developing the engines, so there is a possibility that there will be another update later in the year and I won't be able to take that," said Hamilton at Spa on Saturday.

"But that's the sacrifice I'm forced to take. I've got to take these engines now, I have no more [from the original allocation for the season].

"We've not run out of all the components but we can't mix and match [specifications], so I have actually run out."

However, Hamilton believes that having fresh engines to see out the remainder of the season means he can push them harder than he was able to earlier in the year.

"I'm confident of fighting with these three, and I can definitely push them more," he said.

"There is a certain amount of life you have - limits you are given on a race weekend, and I never even get close to them.

"When I had five engines I was always saving them, trying not to take life out of them.

"Now I'm going to use them. Tomorrow I will use my allowance, and I can do that in all the races now."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes there is nothing in development at the moment that would give Hamilton a significant disadvantage in terms of engine specification if he misses out on an update later in the year.

"There is no perfect scenario," said Wolff.

"If we introduce an upgraded engine and it has more performance then it can be detrimental [for Hamilton not to receive it], of course.

"But what we are seeing at the moment, with what we are testing on the dynos, there is no such gain.

"It's not in a way promising it would give Lewis a disadvantage."So I don't see this as something that could affect his championship.

"The advantages of him now having three engines outweigh the disadvantages. It's much better."

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