Martin Brundle suggests Lewis Hamilton should take on one more new engine this year
Martin Brundle believes Mercedes should consider giving Lewis Hamilton one more new engine this season – despite the accompanying grid penalty.
Hamilton was fitted with its fifth internal combustion engine of the campaign at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Three is the maximum allowed, four results in a 10-place grid loss and five or more results in a five-place penalty.
The fourth engine meant a P11 start in Turkey and a P5 finish. But in Brazil, the seven-time world champion came out on top from 10th place on the grid, overtaking title rival Max Verstappen to reduce his points deficit over the Dutchman to 14 with three races remaining.
The day before, in the sprint, he had improved from 20th place on the grid – having been excluded from qualifying for an illegal rear wing – by passing 15 cars.
YOU CAN DO WHAT YOUR MIND TELLS YOU! This weekend is proof of that. We fought this battle on the track and I couldn’t be more proud of @ mercedesamgf1 and my amazing teammate @valtteribottas without whom I couldn’t do this. EU AMO BRASIL We keep fighting, keep pushing. pic.twitter.com/CBD7QbIt1J
– Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 14, 2021
Considering the Mercedes’ frenetic pace at Interlagos, this suggests that Hamilton could theoretically take a grid penalty in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi – all circuits supposed to be suitable for his car – and win every time.
If the 36-year-old Briton wins all three races, he will break the record he holds with Michael Schumacher for the most World Championship wins.
Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff told Brazil that Hamilton would only have the two existing engines in his pool until the end of the season, although their performance will only deteriorate from that. that they had at the start of their cycle.
How feasible it would be, logistically and financially, to add others that only Mercedes knows about, but Sky F1 expert Brundle thinks it might be worth doing in the Abu Dhabi final, for example example.
“This story has a lot more to do and surely in this form it’s worth Merc’s consideration of a new internal combustion engine for the big final showdown,” Brundle said in his Sky Sports column.
“A fall of five places on the grid might be worth it, given that Lewis has passed all of the other 19 cars on the grid, 16 of them at least twice.”
Another former F1 driver, Robert Doornbos, is less convinced, however, emphasizing the “risk” factor of starting a few rows behind rather than in the lead.
“You are the heart of the midfield traffic and you have to keep your car in one piece,” said the Dutchman, as quoted by Motorsport.com.
“In midfield you always have more risk than when you start first or second. You have cars behind you and in front of you.
“The drivers who are there too often have less to lose, so there are simply more accidents in the middle than in the front. “