Toto Wolff has told Sky Sports F1 that there is a possibility of Lewis Hamilton taking a grid penalty for an engine change at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul Park.
The seven-time World Champion leads Max Verstappen by two points heading into the weekend, but concerns about reliability and a lack of engines in Hamilton’s pool is likely to force them to take a grid drop at some stage in the near future.
"It's a possibility," said the Austrian, but added: "When, and how, is not yet decided."
Mercedes’ main rival Max Verstappen took his engine penalty in Russia and it turned out to be a brilliant decision. The 24-year-old finished 2nd to Hamilton to only lose seven points in the championship fight.
Wolff is fully aware of the fact that DNFs caused by unreliability need to be avoided in such a critical part of the season.
"Most important is that you don't DNF because of a reliability issue," admitted Wolff. "You can cope with swings, whether you finish second, third, I think that is OK, the championship is going to go long. But if you don't finish...
"So we are looking at the parameters of the engines, making sure we don't suffer from any reliability problems."
Hamilton already has history of making an epic comeback drive at the Turkish venue: after spinning early on in a sprint race back in GP2 in 2006, the Brit delivered a stunning recovery as he stormed through to finish P2.