AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Lewis Hamilton’s bid for the Formula One championship got a boost Thursday when Ferrari decided to put new engines in its cars at the U.S. Grand Prix, prompting a 10-spot penalty for Sebastian Vettel on the starting grid.
Vettel is a distant second to Hamilton in the driver standings and needs to finish within nine points of the Mercedes driver to push the title chase beyond this weekend.
Ferrari has already used its allowed four engines this season. Using a fifth incurs the penalty.
Vettel seemed fine with sacrificing his slim title hopes this season if its means better car performance over the final few races with an eye toward 2016. His Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, also will get a new engine and a starting grid penalty.