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Hamilton could face Abu Dhabi engine penalty

Written by  Nov 15, 2018

Lewis Hamilton could face a grid penalty for new engine components at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Though the Briton won last Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix in fortunate circumstances, he did so with exhaust issues on his Mercedes.

At one point, the temperatures were so high and the situation so critical that the team even had a warning of an "imminent" failure but it would survive until the checkered flag.

"After the first pit stop with Lewis we noticed quite a significant problem, which required a huge amount of input from a number of sources," chief strategist James Vowles explained.

"We have a team back in the UK at Brixworth who work alongside us on the intercom, and we have a huge team trackside working together diligently to understand what we can change on the engine to get to the end of the race.

"They did a fantastic job. It wasn't one change - it was a huge number of changes across a 40 - 50 lap period, where they were working with Lewis to adjust various componentry and get that Power Unit to the end of the race. They did a fantastic job."

It wasn't a performance without consequence, however, as Mercedes now face an anxious period to determine what to do with Hamilton's engine at Yas Marina.

"The engine has sustained some level of damage - but we don't yet understand what," Vowles confirmed. "It has to be inspected and understood before we can make any decision going forward to Abu Dhabi."

Hamilton has reached the limit on each component he's allowed this season, therefore, unless a previous unit can be used, any new part will trigger an automatic 10-place grid penalty at least.

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