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Lewis may take twin engine hit

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 30-07-2016
Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Mercedes are not ruling out introducing two new engines for Lewis Hamilton immediately after the summer break at the Belgian GP. 

Such a double hit would guarantee that Hamilton - already on the verge of a penalty - would have to start the race from last on the grid with demotions potentially adding up to 40 places.

Hamilton's engine plight explained

However, by taking all of the pain in a single race, Hamilton, who has already reached the penalty-free limit for two of the six power-unit elements, would then have two fresh engines to use for the remaining nine races of the year.

In a tweak to the regulations mid-way through 2015, there are no longer carry-over penalties if a full grid-drop cannot be applied.

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Asked if Mercedes were considering a 'double hit' penalty for Hamilton, team boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports News HQ: "Here we have a situation where we need to provide an additional engine and we are going to do the best for Lewis so that he is the most competitive for his championship attempt.

"It's not about making Mercedes looking bad, this is a mechanical sport, we are stretching the limits and sometimes you reach them."

Hamilton currently leads the title race by six points from his team-mate Nico Rosberg ahead of this weekend's German GP. His advantage represents a dramatic turnaround from the start of the season which begun with Rosberg with holding a 43-points buffer after the opening four events while his team-mate suffered a series of mechanical failures.

"I have no clue whether it whether it will continue with Lewis or will Nico will come back," said Wolff.

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"They are just a couple of points from each other and we are halfway through the season so it's pretty much open - it's exciting and not always easy for us!"

Mercedes continued to dominate on track during Friday practice at Hockenheim with Rosberg heading Hamilton at the front of a Silver Arrows one-two in both the morning and afternoon sessions.

"It's going to be close," said Hamilton. "Nico is feeling quite confident and calm in the car. It will be a good battle."

"He hasn't shown everything today," responded Rosberg. "I don't take his time too seriously. It will be a tight battle when he starts to push."

Watch the German GP live on Sky Sports F1. The race starts at 1pm on Sunday, with build-up underway at 11:30am. Or watch the race without a contract for £6.99 on NOW TV.

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