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Belgian GP: Hamilton handed 30-place grid penalty

Briton Lewis Hamilton has been leading this year's world championship by 19 points. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Aug 27, 2016, 06.13 AM (IST)
Three-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has received a 30-place grid penalty in this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, a serious knock to his title hopes this season.

The 31-year-old Merecedes driver is leading this year's championship by 19 points with nine races to go.

The Briton has been given a full engine change grid penalty because he has exhausted all five turbo and MGU-H (motor generator unit-heat) in the earlier races. 

However, Hamilton seemed calm, saying that he would look to mitigate the damages in this Grand Prix. 

"Naturally, we've already discussed engine penalties that will come into play, for sure, but I will do everything I can to minimise the impact," he said. "Otherwise, beyond that penalty, that I will eventually take, I think I will be able to continue with the momentum I had before the break."

? feel OK. It is going to be an interesting Sunday," he told BBC.

Hamilton's penalty is a knock-on effect from his early season travails when he faced multiple engine failures. 

His teammate Nico Roseberg admitted to BBC that though the pressure will be on as always, this weekend would be "less difficult" due to Hamilton's penalty.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will also start the Belgian Grand Prix from the back as he opted to change his engine.

(WION with inputs from BBC)

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