Lewis Hamilton facing a grid penalty after Belgian GP crash

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Mercedes-Benz AG

Lewis Hamilton‘s power unit is being inspected at Brixworth, after his collision with Fernando Alonso, and Mercedes confirms it is “definitely a concern”.

After Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso collided on lap 1 of the Belgian Grand Prix, the Briton’s car was launched into the air and slammed back into the ground.

Afterwards, a fluid emerging from the back of the car was visible on the onboard cameras of the drivers who were behind him.

Lewis immediately told the team he can feel some damage, and was told by his race engineer Peter Bonnington to “back off, no full load, part throttle, part throttle”.

Soon Bonnington told him to park the car, and his race was over. Smoke could then be seen coming out of the back of his car.

Now, Autosport reports that a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed that the power unit was returned to the team’s engine factory in Brixworth, so that it can be examined. The spokesperson also confirmed that the power unit was “definitely a concern”.

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Considering how it was Hamilton’s third power unit, installed on Friday at Spa, if it is unable to be used in the future, the Briton could soon be facing a grid penalty.

Lewis is currently on his final MGU-K, MGU-H, turbo, control electronics and energy store, so if any of these components have to be replaced, this will trigger a grid penalty.

Although the team confirms that Lewis’ previous power units are still operational, they all most probably have high mileage, so a new unit is a realistic possibility.

The collision also led to Lewis’ gearbox carrier getting cracked, and the internals are being inspected. However, if they need to be changed, this will not trigger a penalty.

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