Nov.12 - Lewis Hamilton admitted Mercedes was grappling with bigger problems when rumours of a likely engine change and grid penalty were swirling in the Interlagos paddock.

"The engine isn't even here," said the seven time world champion. "That's why I can't comment on it."

Indeed, Formula 1 was dealing with an almost unprecedented crisis ahead of the Brazilian GP, when two full planes of team equipment - including cars and engines - were delayed in Mexico due to fog.

Then, a pilot shortage prevented a swift alternative and the equipment only arrived at the eleventh hour after photos of near-empty garages did the rounds.

"It's not only the limited cargo capacity all around the world, but a shortage of pilots. You can't just hire new ones," a source at Formula 1 said.

Haas driver Nikita Mazepin said: "The mechanics will have to work without sleep, and tomorrow they will work all day again.

"That's a huge workload for them when the weekends are all in a row like this," the Russian added.

At Red Bull, the team had received delivery of its cars - but not the tools necessary to bolt them together.

Mexico GP and championship leader Max Verstappen said there wasn't enough time after his latest win last Sunday for a real celebration.

"We have to do a good job four more times. Then it's time to celebrate," said the Dutchman.

He also didn't want to hear from those crunching the numbers to work out if another win on Sunday would mean the first 'match point' in his battle against Lewis Hamilton.

"I'm very bad at tennis so let's not talk about match points," Verstappen smiled.

He is, however, planning to forgo his personal number 33 and wear the coveted number 1 if he is champion next year.

"Who knows how often you will get the opportunity for that?" the Red Bull driver asked rhetorically, before smiling: "It's also a smart marketing move."

Verstappen was also asked about social media photos depicting his meeting in the past few days with F1 legend Nelson Piquet - the father of his girlfriend Kelly.

"I didn't ask him for advice because I don't need it, but I had a great time with his family," he said.

"Outside of racing I don't like to talk about work much, but I can say that Nelson has a dream garage full of incredible cars. I'd like to have one like that someday too."

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8 F1 Fan comments on “Hamilton not talking about new F1 engine penalty rumour

  1. ReallyOldRacer

    Does anyone know? Article seems to suggest that teams tear down car before shipping and reconstruct when it arrives at next rack. Is that true? If so, how complete is the disassembly?

    • shroppyfly

      I saw a confidential memo from Ferrari that suggested they no longer will be stripping the cars before shipping as reassembling them always left them with a few screws and no idea where they went.

      • ReallyOldRacer

        Stop it. It's too early here for me to lmao. Seriously, HAM's comment about the PU not being there and RB's reference to missing assembly tools has me curious about the level of teardown.

        As for missing pilots, what do these bozos do, call Planes R Us after every race to charter planes? Crikey, this is a billion $ circus, how about a little bit of pre-planning. Ever hear of retainers? WTF

      • ReallyOldRacer

        Do you have any reference that I can read regarding the extent of the disassembly? I've never heard about this teardown procedure or how cars are prepared for shipment.

  2. Les

    Really old racer. This is the first time I've seen you get it wrong. The teams book planes well in advance. This time those planes couldn't fly because of fog. Then those pilots needed to be replaced because of flight regs. There is a problem with sufficient pilots because covid meant pilots had to go and do other jobs. They have to requalify to fly , you just can't start flying again

  3. Yrjo E Veltheim

    It occurs to me that given the power of Mercedes' engines and the quality of their drivers (LH and VB), they could put in new ICE's for the next two races, take the five place penalties and still win them both. Just a thought!


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