Lewis Hamilton has revealed Mercedes did consider taking a deliberate penalty-inducing reprimand on top of his multiple engine changes but considered it too much of a risk in terms of legality.
Hamilton will start the Belgian Grand Prix from the back of the grid after three pre-planned engine changes notched up 55 positions worth of grid penalties, Mercedes doing so in an effort to limit the likelihood of more penalising power unit swaps later in the season.
RESULTS: Belgian Grand Prix – Qualifying results
However, Hamilton is also just one reprimand from a penalty after indiscretions in Bahrain and Russia, prompting Mercedes to consider deliberately taking another hit to compound his penalties without any physical disadvantage.
Despite this, Hamilton says the 'grey area' about whether such a move would be frowned upon by the FIA and lead to additional sanctions meant the idea was dropped.
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“Of course we thought about that,” he admitted. “But firstly that would mean doing something illegal in terms of the rules and unsafe, which is against the rules as well deliberately, and that is not how we play at all.
“Perhaps if we had done that they would have said 'well you've already got a 55-place penalty here, so we'll give you the ten at the next race'. So it's not a very smart idea.”
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