Hamilton will start the Italian GP at the back after a penalty

Lewis Hamilton collided with Fernando Alonso on the first lap of the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start the Italian Grand Prix from the back due to a grid penalty for using too many engine parts.

The seven-time champion received his fourth power unit of the season – one more than allowed.

Hamilton’s brand new third engine was damaged when it crashed into Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the Belgian Grand Prix.

Mercedes says they are still working on a “recovery plan” for the engine.

“It’s my fault,” Hamilton said. “We still hope to be able to use him again, but I have to recover as best I can at the back.”

The third engine needed repairs after Hamilton continued after his first lap incident with Alonso with fluids leaking out of the car, before being ordered to stop on the track half a lap later.

The penalty almost certainly knocks Hamilton out of contention for victory at Monza, giving him one less race to play to maintain his record of being the only driver in F1 history to win a Grand Prix every season of her career.

But Hamilton, who was in contention for a win in the Netherlands last weekend until a the late safety car ruined his chancessaid that this record had “no importance” for him.

“I don’t care about records,” he said. “But I’m focused on getting this win.

“I’m grateful that every year since 2007 we’ve had the opportunity to win. I think we’ll have a chance this year. We still have seven races to go and it’s definitely a big goal to get back to the front.

“I have no idea where our car is going to be great. It was a surprise when I got in the car last weekend.”

The eighth title still in sight

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton is yet to win a race in the 2022 season, but the seven-time world champion was closer than ever to taking the checkered flag at Zandvoort last weekend.

Hamilton said he was determined to win an eighth world title, as well as continue his work promoting diversity in motorsport, and hinted he was likely to continue in F1 after his contract expired current with Mercedes at the end of 2023.

“For me it’s about winning another world championship,” he said. “The feeling of winning is so unique and special. But of course the idea that no driver in history has passed seven years, you want to try to accomplish that.

“But as you get older, you appreciate that the journey is what’s important and the people you bring with you. With the work we’re doing with Mission 44, there’s a much bigger picture. But the eighth title is still a goal. and I would be so proud to do it with this team.

“I feel healthier than ever – I focus on that a lot. I feel fit, I love what I do and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“My goal has always been to be with Mercedes. I like that we have the long partnership that we have. I like that we are getting into a lot of positive things. I want to be part of that. I will always be with Mercedes for the day I die and I feel like I can run a bit longer, so I’ll potentially lean into that.”

Verstappen’s march will continue

Hamilton’s penalty removes a potential favorite from the fight for victory in a race that Red Bull’s Max Verstappen starts as heavy favorite.

The Dutchman has won the last four Grands Prix and takes the championship, 109 points ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who had been his main rival until the Italian team’s season began to unravel with a series of problems reliability and strategic errors.

Ferrari is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a carmaker this weekend with a revised livery featuring pops of yellow on the car’s red paintwork, reflecting the historic color of Modena.

But Leclerc said he did not expect a strong result.

“I expect it to be a bit of a tough weekend,” he said. “We expect Red Bull to be stronger. The track doesn’t suit our car. But we’ve had good and bad surprises this season, so let’s hope for a good one.”

Leclerc’s fears are rooted in Red Bull’s straight-line speed advantage.

He said: “We seem to be a bit quicker in the corners but on tracks like here it’s not enough to regain the lead on the straights. I think that will be the case this weekend. “

Verstappen, who has won 10 of 15 races this year and is on course to break the winning records in a season held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel at 13, said: “In recent years we have never been fast. on the straights so when you come here, on some tracks you can get away with trying to have a little less downforce, but here everyone has little downforce and you can’t hide it anymore.

“But this year we’ve been the opposite, we’ve been really fast down the straight and hopefully we can show that again this weekend.”

There should be more engine penalties for other drivers as the weekend progresses, and Haas has already confirmed that Mick Schumacher will get a five-place grid penalty for using too many gearboxes.

Hamilton will start the Italian GP at the back after a penalty

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