Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff explained the possibility of Lewis Hamilton taking another engine penalty as Valtteri Bottas set to receive his sixth this weekend.
The F1 Drivers’ Championship of the 2021 season has been one of the tightest in a long time as leader Max Verstappen and title rival Lewis Hamilton are separated by just six points. The Red Bull Racing driver has accumulated 262.5 points before the United States Grand Prix this weekend, while the Mercedes F1 racer has accumulated 256.5 points.
Amidst this title drama is the concern of engine penalties as several drivers have opted for more than three engines. As per the sporting regulations, drivers will be given a penalty if they change more than three engines over the course of the full season. Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff explained the possibility of Hamilton taking another engine penalty, as teammate Valtteri Bottas is set to receive his sixth engine at the US Grand Prix.
Will Lewis Hamilton take another engine penalty?
While speaking to reporters on Friday in Texas, Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff explained that the team requires to understand the issues completely before deciding whether taking the engine penalty is the right option for Lewis Hamilton. With just six races remaining this season, the decision for the team could not be more difficult as they are competing for both the Drivers’ and the Constructors’ Championship with Red Bull Racing.
Speaking of the dilemma, Wolff said, “I think you see that we are suffering with reliability this year, we’re going onto the sixth engine… for Valtteri, and it is not something we choose to do, but on the contrary; we are trying to really get on top of the problems, and we haven’t understood fully.” While speaking of the possibility of Hamilton taking a new engine, the Mercedes F1 team principal said, “I can’t say whether we will be taking one and what the percentage is, but obviously the risk is still there.”
Wolff said that the risk comes from pre-empting the situation and taking another penalty or running the risk of possibly getting a DNF. He finished his statement that this is the concern that the team are currently discussing, and they have not come up with answers yet. Mercedes F1 have the opportunity to clinch a record eighth Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship this season as six of the past seven Drivers’ Championships have been won by Hamilton, with Nico Rosberg winning in 2016.