Mercedes has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton's race engineer, Pete Bonnington, will miss the next two Formula 1 race weekends to undergo a medical procedure back in the UK.

Bonnington has operated as Hamilton's race engineer throughout the Briton's time with Mercedes, and can regularly be heard interacting with his driver over team radio during sessions and races.

But Hamilton will be engineered by Marcus Dudley for the next two races while Bonnington remains in the UK. Dudley usually operates as Hamilton's performance engineer, working closely with Bonnington.

The news was confirmed by Mercedes during opening practice for the Mexican Grand Prix on Friday.

"Bono is not in Mexico this weekend and will not be in Austin either owing to a medical procedure back in the UK," a Mercedes spokesman confirmed.

"Lewis will be engineered by Marcus Dudley, usually his performance engineer standing to Bono's right in the garage.

"Performance engineer for the two weekends will be Dom Riefstahl, who usually runs our race support operations in Brackley."

Bonnington may therefore miss Hamilton's coronation as F1 world champion for a sixth time. Hamilton is able to seal the championship this weekend in Mexico by outscoring Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 14 points.

Failing that, a lead of 52 points leaving Austin after next weekend's United States Grand Prix will be enough for Hamilton to wrap up his sixth title with two races to spare.

Hamilton has already downplayed his chances of securing the title in Mexico this weekend, anticipating it will be "difficult" for Mercedes given its regular struggles at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, having not won either of the last two runnings of the race.

 

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