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F1 thoughts for China GP, Shanghai - HAMILTON Penalty

Posted By Chase Hinderstein, Thursday, April 14, 2016

Reigning world champion, Lewis Hamilton, will be hit with a 5 place grid penalty in his Mercedes to start this weekend's race in China.

His team has taken the penalty after opting to change out his gear box, which may have been damaged in an incident in turn 1 of the last race, in Bahrain.

That incident, in which Bottas in his Williams ride caught the inside of Hamilton's car, as Hamilton tried to close his line and the door on Bottas, caused Bottas a drive through penalty at the time. I thought it would have most likely been ruled a simple racing incident or that they would have applied fault to Hamilton

This week, F1 returns to the old rules for qualifying, THANK GOD.

A more subtle rule change that has received less attention is a tweak to the clutch applications at the start. While Hamilton may very well be the most talented driver out there, he has a history of being a bit stunted at the start line. This rule has directly impacted him and perhaps targeted him. He's been slower off the starts, seeing Ferrari (Vettel) blow past him in race one, and then Bottas trying the same from behind in Bahrain. 

Now will Hamilton starting no better than 6th with this penalty, he'll certainly have his work cut out for him on Sunday if he wants to keep pace with teammate Niko Rosberg, who has the lead in this year's championship points. 

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