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Lewis Hamilton at risk of major F1 penalty as dismal start to 2024 continues for Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton at risk of major F1 penalty as dismal start to 2024 continues for Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton could face a penalty as his poor start to the 2024 season continues.

Lewis Hamilton could be at risk of a major penalty as his disappointing start to the 2024 Formula 1 season continues.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has not tasted victory in F1 since the 2021 season as Mercedes continue to struggle to keep up with Red Bull.

Heading into the 2024 campaign, there were hopes that Mercedes have finally turned a corner after managing some impressive results towards the back end of 2023.

However, it has been a tough start for the Brackley-based team so far as they currently sit fourth in the standings, behind the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Last time out at the Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton’s race was ended after just 17 laps with the Brit suffering an issue with his power unit.

Mercedes shipped the engine back to their base in the hope of fixing the issue, but as reported by The Mirror, it has now been discovered that the issue cannot be salvaged.

As a result, a new power unit has been fitted onto Hamilton’s car, putting him at risk of a penalty further down the season.

Each driver is permitted to use four internal combustion engines during the season, meaning it is ideal that each engine lasts for an average of six races.

But the fact that Hamilton is already using his second ICE after just three races could spell trouble for Mercedes.


If Hamilton uses up the four power units that are allowed, he will face an automatic grid penalty when a fifth is installed.

With a new power unit installed, Hamilton experienced arguably his best session of the season so far as he finished P5 in FP1 ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Speaking after the session, Hamilton said: “It was a really good session, the best the car has felt this year.

“It felt really positive. I was excited, because this is a circuit every driver loves to drive and the last couple of years we've had a really difficult car and balance to drive here.”

He added: “And given the difficult last few races we've had, great work has been done and we seem to have hit the ground in a sweeter spot so I haven't really made any changes.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1