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5-place grid penalty for Hamilton

NEWS STORY
12/11/2021

Toto Wolff explains the thinking behind the move which will see Lewis Hamilton will go into Sunday's Brazil Grand Prix with a 5-place grid penalty after taking on his 5th ICE of the season.

This follows his ten-place penalty in Turkey, where the world champion finished fifth.

"We feel that we can score more points," Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff told Sky Sports, on the moments after today's practice session when asked about the decision, which had been widely predicted.

"We have deg on the engine that until the end of the season is just going to continue to decrease in power and we haven't yet realised why that is, but we are just seeing it creep down," he revealed.

"Without going into specifics, every engine is degrading and we've seen that over the past years over 1,000 kilometres there is a certain amount of kilowatts that the engine is degrading. Ours is just degrading much more than in the average of the past years and that increases from weekend to weekend.

"If we keep the engine we are going to for sure not going to be competitive in Saudi and Abu Dhabi," he admitted.

Today's move sees Hamilton left with two engines in his pool, consequently Wolff is confident that there will be no further penalties in the remaining races.

"Yes, definitely," he said. "I think we have good straight-line speed, we've seen that today, so that gives us a little bit of a potential but I'd rather start right at the front of the race than needing to catch up and pass some of the cars that we have seen.

"We were not able to pass the McLaren in Mexico," he added. "I'm happy they have a great engine, but it didn't help us in Mexico."

The 5-place penalty doesn't apply to Saturday's Sprint, the grid for which will be decided in qualifying this afternoon, and will instead be imposed on Sunday.

Check out our Friday gallery from Interlagos, here.

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