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Hamilton suffers huge BLOW ahead of Japanese GP as penalty looms

Hamilton suffers huge BLOW ahead of Japanese GP as penalty looms

Hamilton suffers huge BLOW ahead of Japanese GP as penalty looms

Hamilton suffers huge BLOW ahead of Japanese GP as penalty looms

Lewis Hamilton has received some more frustrating news after his worst-ever start to a Formula 1 season in 2024.

The Brit suffered a catastrophic engine failure on lap 17 of the Australian Grand Prix, which saw him leave Melbourne placed 10th in the drivers’ championship.

READ MORE: Mercedes F1 star avoids grid penalty despite ‘DANGEROUS’ Japanese GP incident

Without a race win in over two years and now embroiled in a midfield battle, it looks as if the seven-time champion picked the right time to leave Mercedes and join Ferrari.

There are 21 more races ahead of him for the Silver Arrows first, who have to find more pace in their car if they are to give him the send-off that his legacy warrants.

But it doesn’t look like there is any promising news around the corner, as Mercedes have revealed some bad news following an investigation back at their base in Brixworth.

READ MORE: Hamilton backs Vettel to REPLACE him at Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton drives Mercedes' W15 in Australia

Hamilton future penalty more likely after power unit failure

Following Hamilton’s engine failure in Melbourne, the team took the time to disassemble and assess the damage to the power unit.

Sadly, it turns out that the problem is terminal and that the engine must be removed from the pool of availability that the seven-time champion has for the rest of the season.

It means that he is more than likely to take a penalty at some stage throughout the season with drivers only allowed four engines over the course of the 24-race season, meaning they need to last an average of six full race weekends.

Taking one after just three races, means the chance of needing a fifth and incurring the subsequent grid penalty is increased.

READ MORE: Verstappen drops F1 future BOMBSHELL ahead of Japanese GP

Lewis Hamilton has not won in F1 since 2021

Mercedes’ communications director Bradley Lord told Sky Sports: “The status on the engine is it’s out of the pool.

“We had a really sudden bottom-end failure in that engine, having taken it back to the factory after Melbourne and tracked it back to a quality process problem rather than a design issue.

"But the status of it is that it’s out of the pool and he’s on his second power unit of the season for this weekend and going forward.”

READ MORE: Potential Hamilton replacement CONFIRMED for Mercedes drive

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