Fernando Alonso insists Lewis Hamilton should be sent to the BACK of the grid for changing his engine for a fifth time this season, as Max Verstappen claims his rival has enjoyed a late ‘power boost’ in the race for F1 title
- Alonso believes Hamilton should be penalised for exceeding his engine use
- Mercedes changed Brit’s engine for a fifth time before his win in Sao Paulo
- He was handed a five-place grid penalty for changing his engine again in Brazil
- However, Hamilton stormed back to win in Sao Paulo and again in Qatar
- Verstappen and Alonso believe his punishment should’ve been more severe
Fernando Alonso believes Lewis Hamilton should be sent to the back of the grid for using his fifth engine of the season.
In F1, drivers are allowed to use three different engines over the course of the season, and incur sanctions if they go beyond that.
This saw Hamilton was hit with a five-place grid penalty at the Brazilian Grand Prix for using his fifth internal combustion engine of the season – but the Brit managed to pull off a spectacular drive to storm to a victory in Sao Paulo, helping him close the gap to title rival Max Verstappen.
Fernando Alonso (left) believes Lewis Hamilton (right) should be sent to the back of the grid for using his fifth engine of the season
The added boost in power also saw the Brit comfortably win the first ever Qatar Grand Prix earlier this month, blowing the title race wide open with just two races to go.
And two-time Formula One champion Alonso believes Hamilton should be handed a more severe punishment for changing his engine once again.
‘Those who have exceeded a certain number of engines per year should be sent to the back of the grid,’ Alonso told Spanish outlet AS.
Hamilton produced a stunning drive to win the Brazilian GP after his fifth engine change
Hamilton has won two races since changing his engine and has closed the gap to Verstappen
Alonso has echoed Verstappen’s argument that Hamilton’s punishment was illogical, given how the Brit easily cancelled out the grid penalty with the extra power he has gained from the new unit.
After Hamilton’s stunning win at Interlagos, Verstappen said: ‘In theory Mercedes can put in a new combustion engine every Grand Prix, take five places penalty and benefit from the power boost.’
Verstappen has since seen his championship lead shrink to 14 points after Hamilton’s win in Brazil and then again to just eight points after Qatar, with the Dutchman finishing second on the podium behind the Mercedes man last time out.
Verstappen (left) claimed the penalty given to Hamilton for his engine change was illogical
Despite the title race going down to the last two circuits, Verstappen insists it is a good thing that it’s going down to the wire.
‘We just need to try and stay focused and there are two races to go and as you can see a lot of things can happen. Anything is possible.
‘I feel good. It’s going to be a tight battle to the end. I know it’s going to be difficult to the end, but I think that’s nice – it keeps it exciting.’