SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium, Aug 27 AP – Defending Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton’s grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix has increased to a whopping 55 places, with Mercedes punished for making further engine changes.
The 2016 championship leader was already condemned to start from the back of the grid after picking up a 15-place penalty in Friday morning’s first practice and a further 15 spots following another component change in the afternoon.
Given this, Mercedes took the opportunity to make multiple power unit changes – meaning a further and meaningless 25-place drop in a race of 22 cars.
The intention was to keep Hamilton’s engine in good shape for the rest of the season.
He is joined at the back by McLaren driver Fernando Alonso who has taken a 35-place hit, also for engine changes.