Lewis Hamilton took a fourth engine, only three are allowed during the season, and has incurred a 10-place grid penalty that will see him start further back than normal like Max Verstappen did two weeks ago.
The 7-time champion leads Max by just two points so things are very tight at the sharp end of the grid and with Max recovering to second place in Russia, Lewis will need a similar performance to minimize the damage an engine change can cause.
Lewis was on pace during the Free Practice sessions on Friday and looks to be in good form from a qualifying and race pace perspective and that bodes well for Sunday.
The interesting part of the engine change is that Mercedes just changed the internal combustion portion and not the entire engine. At least that’s what the Sky Sports F1 crew relate during the broadcast and if that’s the case, it will be interesting to see how they manage the rest of the season with older MGU-H and MGU-K portions of the power unit.
With Lewis looking quick, he could start 10th and that is a very recoverable position so teammates may play a big role in either helping Lewis forward or holding him back in the case of Valtteri Bottas or Sergio Perez. To be fair, however, this could be one of the few chances Valtteri will have this year of winning a race and that will be hard to throw away.