Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton may opt to start from the back of the grid for the Belgian GP due to the number of engine components he has used.
The speculation comes from Germany’s Auto, Motor und Sport, which expects that Hamilton will use his sixth and seventh engines at Spa.
The Brit to be handed grid penalties later this season, having already reached the limit with the use of both the motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H) and turbocharger.
Grid penalties are issued for the use of a sixth use of one of the six engine elements: The internal combustion engine (ICE), the motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), the motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), the energy store (ES), turbocharger (TC) and control electronics (CE).
Rosberg’s advantage over Hamilton stood at 43 points following their collision in Spain, but he now leads the championship by just one point.
The F1 field will be in action in Hungary on July 24 and then again one week later in Germany on July 31.
F1 2016 Power unit elements used so far, after British GP
While not on the scale of the 2014 F1 shake-up, a number of new regulations come into effect for the last season…
Power units – each driver is restricted to four power units during the season. Should a driver exceed the total, a grid penalty will be imposed.
Power unit penalties – the replacement of a complete power unit no longer results in an automatic penalty; instead penalties are applied cumulatively based on the individual components of each power unit. Unlike in 2014, grid penalties no longer roll over to the next event.
Power unit and ERS
Unless he drives for more than one team, each driver may use no more than four power units during a championship season.
The power unit is deemed to consist of six separate elements, of which five of each are available to a driver during the season before they are penalised. The elements are the internal combustion engine (ICE), the motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), the motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), the energy store (ES), turbocharger (TC) and control electronics (CE).
Each driver is permitted to use only four of each of the above six elements during a championship season and any combination of them may be fitted to a car at any one time. Should a driver use more than four of any of the six power unit elements during the course of a season, a grid penalty will be imposed.
The penalties imposed for using additional elements work thus: the first time a fifth of any of the elements is used, a ten-place grid penalty will be imposed. A five-place grid penalty will then be imposed the first time a fifth of any of the remaining elements is used. Likewise, the first time a sixth of any of the elements is used, a ten-place grid penalty will be imposed, and so on.
If a grid place penalty is imposed, and the driver’s grid position at said event is such that the full penalty cannot be applied, the remainder of the penalty will be applied in the form of a time penalty during the race. Depending on the number of grid penalty places untaken this can range from a 5-second time penalty to a 10-second stop-go penalty.
If a driver is replaced at any time during the season his replacement will be deemed to be the original driver for the purposes of assessing power unit usage. (FIA)