Date: 25th August 2016 at 9:08am
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Despite the monumental shift in the 2016 Formula One World Championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg there has always been a massive elephant in the room.

Hamilton was forced to play catch-up during the early part of the season due to reliability issues and those same problems are going to provide a double whammy for the Brit as Hamilton’s engine situation means he is going to have to take at least one severe penalty before the end of the season.

He’s been trying to nurse his current engine as far as it can go to save him from having further penalties further down the line.

But he looks set to take a hit at the next race in Belgium.

Following the German Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton told Sky Sports: ‘I feel like l am closer to leading it [the championship], We do have a penalty up ahead, this engine has done amazing to get to where we are and I’m super grateful for the life it has led and the laps we’ve led with it. It’s as good a buffer as I could get with the circumstances.’

Drivers are allowed to use a maximum of five of each of the six parts that make up the modern day Formula One power-unit.

Drivers will receive a 10-place penalty for the first time a sixth component is used and a 5-place penalty for a second sixth component.

All penalties are to be served in the one race, so taking multiple elements will only see one large penalty resulting in a back of the grid start.

In theory, Hamilton could take as many components as possible so to serve the penalty in one hit and set him up for the remainder of the season. But Mercedes of course would like to clarify what they can and cannot do rather than get caught out.

(An engine penalty) is likely and confirmation is expected (on Thursday) a Mercedes spokesman told Sky Sports.