Mercedes to take engine related grid penalty at the Italian GP?

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

There’s a lot of talk about Mercedes possibly taking a grid penalty at the Italian Grand Prix, if they decide to run their fourth power unit. Here’s what we know.

Rumours started spreading yesterday that Mercedes could opt to take on its fourth power unit of the season at the Italian Grand Prix, and in turn get a grid penalty.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are on their third power units, which is all they are allowed to have in a single season, so another unit would automatically mean a grid penalty. has contacted the Mercedes F1 Team, who revealed that they are considering this option if there is no “significant downside”.

Furthermore the team revealed they are still investigating if the power unit that failed Lewis Hamilton in Dutch Grand Prix GP2 is still useable.

“We have been analysing the failed PU#1 back at Brixworth. Nothing further to share at the moment,” a Mercedes spokesperson said.

“If an opportunity to take a PU #4 presents itself without significant downside, then we will look at it – but no firm plans at this stage.”

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Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin said the Dutch GP FP2 power unit was at the end of its “useful race”, but they still hope it can be kept as a spare.

“Fortunately that was a unit that had finished the end of its useful race, it wasn’t even scheduled to do further running on a Friday from here on forward,” Shovlin said.

“But we just want to understand the situation with it because it isn’t to say it wouldn’t appear as a spare in the future and we are just awaiting that report from HPP.”

What all this means is that Mercedes knows they will have to take on a new power unit in one of the next nine races, which means they will have to deal with a grid penalty sooner or later.

As far as the Italian Grand Prix goes, they could opt for this if they are in a situation where a grid penalty wouldn’t hit them that hard (for example if Max Verstappen also gets a grid penalty).

If there isn’t such an option, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Mercedes will not do the switch at Monza.

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