Lewis Hamilton: Grid penalties now inevitable in 2016

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Lewis Hamilton has conceded that he will have to take multiple grid penalties through the second half of the 2016 Formula 1 season after moving onto his fifth engine of the year in Austria.

Hamilton has suffered a number of setbacks with his power unit so far this season, putting him onto the limit of five internal combustion engines this weekend.

For every component used beyond the limit of five for the season, drivers receive a 10 or five-place grid penalty (10 the first time a sixth component used, five for all thereafter; 10 the first time a seventh component is used, etc.).

As a result, Hamilton knows that he will have to take grid drops later in the year, harming his championship charge.

“I will have at least one race where I start dead last, most likely two races probably, with two more new engines I need to take – the sixth and seventh,” Hamilton said.

“But the worst thing is I’m the only Mercedes driver to have that. It’s difficult for us as a team, and it’s difficult considering that we are ‘the’ Mercedes team, so if there are 40 engines, you would hope that we have the best of the 40.

“But that’s just the way it goes, and I just have to do the best I can with the one [power unit] I have now and then hopefully the next one or two I get beyond that.”