- Lewis Hamilton currently leads the F1 Drivers’ Championship by only two points
- He could start from the back of the grid at the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday
- Mercedes is considering replacing its engine, as does Max Verstappen in Russia
- Verstappen struggles to finish second from the back of the grid, behind Hamilton
Formula One’s enticing title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is set to get even tougher after Mercedes admitted they could replace the former’s power unit this week – putting him at the back of the grid for the Turkish Grand Prix put it.
Hamilton currently leads the Drivers’ Championship by just two points over his Red Bull rival, the pair having consistently leapfrogged each other throughout the season.
In F1, drivers are allowed to use three different engines during the season, and are banned if they go beyond that.
Lewis Hamilton may start from the back on Sunday as Mercedes consider changing his engine
Seven-time world champion (right) is just two points ahead of Max Verstappen this season
Hamilton (front) only beat Verstappen in Russia, despite starting from behind later.
Championship leader Hamilton has already used up his full allocation but Mercedes has yet to confirm whether they will change it this week.
Last out, Verstappen used his fourth engine in the build-up to the race in Russia, but managed to fight back to second place, keeping Hamilton’s advantage to a minimum.
And now Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted Hamilton may now take the same option this weekend, putting Britain in a similar position to Verstappen a fortnight ago.
Speaking ahead of the Turkey race this weekend, Wolff said of the power unit change: ‘It is a possibility. When and how is not yet decided. The most important one is that you don’t DNF because of the reliability problem.
Toto Wolff admits Mercedes could follow Red Bull and replace its power unit
Hamilton hoping to win record eighth World Drivers’ Championship at the end of 2021
‘You can face swings, whether you finish second, third, I think it’s okay, the championship is going to be long. But if you don’t finish…
‘So we are looking at the parameters of the engine, making sure we don’t suffer from any reliability issues.’
There are seven races left for the 2021 season, with Turkey, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi yet to come.