As we enter the last third of the 2021 season, many teams are braced for possible penalties, as they need to allocate a new power unit on their cars.
This year regulations provide F1 teams to use a maximum of three power units, and FIA has to serve a penalty to whoever should use an extra one.
This is what could happen to Max Verstappen. The Dutch did crash one in Silverstone and Red Bull decided to wait to change it on a track on which Verstappen could have more possibilities to overcome and gain back positions. Also Mercedes did it, right in Monza. Valtteri Bottas put on his fourth power unit after topping the qualifying and had to start the race from behind, building his race from the rear and finishing third.
Considering the tight battle for points for the world title between him and Lewis Hamilton, it is quite normal to expect strategical decisions on when to change the power units. In Hamilton's case, though, there is a slight possibility that Mercedes could decide to go on with his current one and not change it at all.
“No, it's not an absolute must because we're still running very comfortably with this power unit, - Wolff said - It's a decision that can be made at any time but, at the moment, we don't feel it's necessary.”
“Does that mean we're not going to take a fourth? No, it doesn't. We will see how the next races pan out.” – he continued.
Mercedes’ boss said to Sky Sport that they are aware of how much will the DNF in Monza weigh on the fight for the World Championship title, both for drivers and constructors.
“We believe that between P1 and P2, with the fastest lap, that if you have one DNF it needs the other guy four races to catch up, - Wolff pointed out - And that's brutal. So you can afford to finish four times in second [place]. Therefore, you just need to really play it safe while not giving up performance."
Hamilton is still focused on the prize and is ready to do all that he can to avoid dropping positions for that penalty. “At the moment I've still got two engines. And there's currently no plan for me to have to take an extra engine, hopefully. But we shall see.”