Lewis Hamilton in huge Belgian Grand Prix boost as Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc take big grid penalties

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Lewis Hamilton in huge Belgian Grand Prix boost as Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc take big grid penalties

A total of six drivers will drop to the back of the grid after qualifying for this weekend’s F1 Belgian Grand Prix after a series of engine penalties were handed down, including to Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

The first race after the summer break has been utilised by a number of teams to take extra power-unit components above their allocated amount for the season.

Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon and Mick Schumacher have also incurred penalties that will drop them to the back of the pack.

Both Verstappen and Leclerc took new internal combustion engines, turbochargers, MGU-Ks and MGU-Hs ahead of first practice with a new energy store also deployed in the Ferrari.

The title rivals also triggered penalties for going over their allocation of certain gearbox components.

The penalties hand the likes of Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz a major chance to collect a rare race victory.

Mercedes are yet to win a race in 2022 but could still face a challenge from Verstappen and Leclerc with Spa expected to be hospitable for overtaking throughout Sunday’s race.