Mercedes breaks F1 gearbox seal on Lewis Hamilton's car

Lewis Hamilton has been handed an additional Belgian Grand Prix grid penalty after his Mercedes Formula 1 team broke parc ferme regulations ahead of the race

Mercedes breaks F1 gearbox seal on Lewis Hamilton's car

Hamilton had been set to start from the last row of the grid for the Spa F1 race anyway, having incurred a 55-place grid penalty for multiple tactical engine changes throughout the weekend.

He completed a single slow run in qualifying then sat in the pits to save tyres for the race.

Cars are placed under parc ferme conditions after the session, which means teams are not allowed to make significant set-up alterations to the car before the race without incurring a penalty.

The FIA confirmed Mercedes removed a seal on the gearbox of Hamilton's car to enable him to take a fresh gearbox for the next race - resulting in a further five places as grid penalty at Spa.

The race officials initially issued an incorrect penalty, declaring the world champion would be forced to start from the pitlane.

However his clarified penalty takes the reigning champion's total of grid positions up to 60 - the equivalent of McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton will start from 21st on the grid, as was the case following qualifying, one place ahead of Alonso who remains last after he failed to set a time in qualifying.

Teams sometimes choose to take a pitlane start for tactical reasons, but the reigning world champion was reticent to do so at this track.

"I never like to start from the pitlane, it means you have wait for them to come past the pitlane exit," said Hamilton after qualifying.

"By the time I get round the corner they'll be halfway down the hill almost going into Eau Rouge. That means I have to catch up.

"Of course there's the possibility of the crash in Turn 1 and you avoid it, but there's also the possibility that there's not a crash and I give up eight seconds or whatever it is.

"I can't afford to lose any time. My plan is to start on the grid."

shares
comments
F1 urged to close engine penalty loophole - Mercedes

Previous article

F1 urged to close engine penalty loophole - Mercedes

Next article

Nico Rosberg wins Belgian GP as Lewis Hamilton charges to third

Nico Rosberg wins Belgian GP as Lewis Hamilton charges to third
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021