Grand Prix of Belgium – news

The big news for this race weekend is Mercedes’ decision to take a heap of penalties all at once and put a lot of updates on Hamilton’s car:

“Mercedes’ statement about the likely extent of the penalty suggests he will be taking two each of a new turbocharger and a new MGU-H, the motor-generator that recovers energy from the rear axle. That would amount to a total of 30 grid places of penalty, according to the rules, but a driver can drop no further than the back of the grid.” [BBC]

It makes sense to do it all at once because he effectively gets some “penalty-free” updates thanks to the rules; in recent years any penalties which couldn’t be applied in one race were carried over to the next, but not this year.

The other news is that “Renault’s 19-year-old reserve driver Esteban Ocon has replaced Rio Haryanto at Manor” [BBC]
I read recently that Haryanto’s sponsorship had paid about half of the team’s expenses for the season so far, so Ocon presumably has some big backers too.