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Pit-lane start for Hamilton at Spa-Francorchamps

28 Aug 2016

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton should avoid any first-corner chaos at the start of this afternoon’s 2016 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, following confirmation that he will be beginning the race from the pit lane.

Mercedes removed a seal in order to make checks on Hamilton’s gearbox after qualifying - when all cars are under parc ferme conditions. Under F1 regulations, breaking those conditions means an automatic pit-lane start.

Even before qualifying, Hamilton knew he would be at the back of the grid, thanks to the multiple engine change penalties Mercedes decided to incur here in order to make more power units available to the world champion for the rest of the season.

That had left him 21st on the provisional grid after Saturday’s session, one place ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (also carrying several engine change penalties), who failed to set a qualifying time.