Lewis Hamilton Gets 5 Place Penalty in China
17 December 2015/0530ET
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will be feeling a little worries heading into the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend as the British F1 Champions will start the race with a 5 place gearbox penalty. This is not good news at all since Hamilton is not only trailing his teammate, Nico Rosberg, in the Drivers’ Championship but Ferrari are also looking very quick this weekend.
Hamilton has had a disastrous start to the 2016 season and he would have hoped to turn his luck around here but with this penalty it looks like it will be a whole lot harder to do. Lewis Hamilton even accepted this as he said that Nico Rosberg was likely going to have an easy weekend considering he will most likely be unable to challenge him. Rosberg on the other hand held a modest view on things as he thought that his teammate has what it takes to still make a move and cause him a problem.
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In my personal opinion, I think this disadvantage will be massive. The best Hamilton can hope for is 6th on the grid and even that is not a certainty since Rosberg, Vettel and Raikkonen were all faster than him in free practice today. That being said, Friday is not the best indication of car speeds so these results may not be very accurate. So if we assume that Hamilton does qualify fastest and starts in 6th place, he will also have the task of overtaking 4 cars just to be behind his teammate. This will cause him to lose plenty of time and I think it might just give Rosberg a lead which he won’t be throw away.
This penalty is going have huge implications on this year’s F1 season and with Hamilton already trailing, it looks like the gap will only get larger in China. A second place finish will be a great result for Hamilton in China so this race for him might just be about minimizing the damages.