Lewis Hamilton can ‘live with’ engine penalty points loss to Max Verstappen

Hamilton enters the United States Grand Prix this weekend six points behind Verstappen following his engine change in Turkey

Jamie Braidwood
Thursday 21 October 2021 10:26
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Lewis Hamilton can “live with” the points swing to Max Verstappen that followed his engine change at the Turkish Grand Prix, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said.

Both Hamilton and Verstappen have been hit with penalties after changing parts of their engine over the past two races but it’s the Red Bull driver who has come out on top and holds a six-point lead ahead of the United States Grand Prix this weekend.

While Verstappen finished second at the Russian Grand Prix after starting the race at the back of the grid in Sochi, Hamilton could only manage fifth after being hit with a 10-place grid penalty in Istanbul last time out, although he lost a couple of places late on following a late pit stop.

"For Lewis, the absolute view of Turkey is that he lost one point more than Max did in the previous race in Russia with a similar engine change, which we can live with," Wolff said.

"The relative view when you're in the heat of a race is to always want another position, to score more points - that's who we are as racers and we wouldn't want that competitive intensity any other way."

Mercedes have been boosted by recent improvements to their car and back-to-back wins in Istanbul and Sochi, while Hamilton will be looking to add to his six wins at the United States Grand Prix in Austin on Sunday.

“It was encouraging to see our positive performance momentum continue last time out in Turkey,” Wolff added. “We haven’t scored back-to-back race wins in a little while, so naturally spirits have been high in the factories since we returned from Istanbul.

“We’re excited to be back in Austin for the first time since 2019, it’s always a popular stop on the calendar and we can’t wait to see all the passionate American fans.

“The Circuit of the Americas is a fun track for the drivers. There are some really fast and flowing corners, plus some technical sections and good overtaking opportunities.

“It’s got a bit of everything and is a great track for racing, so I’m sure we’re set for an entertaining Grand Prix.”

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