Following the early-season disappointments, Lewis Hamilton perfectly launched another title bid against his team-mate Nico Rosberg, who still leads the championship with 168 points, just 1 ahead of defending world champion.
Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Brit admits he is feeling the fire inside to go on and claim another Formula One World Championship. Also he has suggested the team accept a double penalty during one of the upcoming grand prix in order to build a pool of engines to get him through the rest of the season.
Hamilton reached his season-limit of five Turbochargers and MGU-Hs when his Mercedes was given a fresh power unit, virtually ensuring he’ll face a 10-place grid penalty at some point of the remaining races.
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).
“Ever since the low of Barcelona I’ve been able to cultivate this really strong mental attitude, I’m feeling fresh, powerful and confident heading to Hungary.” he said.
Changing the components before they fail, at a venue of Mercedes’ choice, would perhaps offer the British driver a bit more risk flexibility in the all-important last stretch of the season.
“That’s a solution I’ve come up with myself, that would definitely be something that could be done. I’m definitely going to be taking another engine. It’s a question of when I take it. Hamilton explained to Autosport.
While Hamilton says that the decision is ultimately his responsibility, his team’s input will be necessarily sought.
“The strategists will be looking at all the races and saying ‘This is a track where it is easier to overtake’. Ultimately it’s my decision because I’m the one who actually knows where I’ll be able to do the best job from last place.
“So I have to be strategic in how I decide that, but yeah, it would be nice to get a few engines in the pool at the same time.
“I hope at some stage I’m able to get some fresh ones, but the one I’m driving right now, hopefully, that will hold together for as long as possible.”
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)