After an 11th place starting position and an untimely pit placed Lewis Hamilton in 5th place in this year’s Turkish Grand Prix, the defending champion, according to hearsay, could get another place penalty in this weekend’s Brazilian race.
The seven-time world champion will potentially be penalized thanks to another engine change, thus making his goal to catch up to current standings leader Verstappen even more difficult to achieve.
Addressing the rumours, though, Hamilton appeared unaware, saying he’d wait for the briefing. “I cannot really comment at the moment…but I will find out later on. We have not even done an engineering briefing yet.” The Briton said.
The race, which Hamilton must win if he is to have any hope of successfully defending his 2020 championship, takes place on a track that’s known to be hard for overtaking. “This is not a very good track for overtaking,” Hamilton admitted.
Ignoring how speedy Red Bull have been of late, getting past Verstappen might be a huge burden in itself, especially if Lewis really starts in eleventh position or worse due to an engine change.
Hamilton, who is 19 points shy of Verstappen in the latter’s first title search, praised Red Bull’s current form, but was quick to add that he and Mercedes have tried their best. “…Red Bull’s pace was phenomenal at the last race…so we have done as well as we could,” he observed.
If the only ever black F1 champion doesn’t finish first, and Verstappen performs as well as he has performed all season, the Dutch will be even more blurry in the 2020 champion’s sights for the title.