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Hamilton shuts down grid penalty rumours at Mexican GP

Lewis Hamilton says there are no plans for him to take a new engine at the Mexican Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has dismissed speculation that he and Mercedes are preparing to take a grid penalty at the Mexican Grand Prix, after trying out different engine modes in Friday's opening practice session. Hamilton backed up teammate Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes 1-2 during FP1 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, before Max Verstappen and Red Bull moved ahead in the afternoon session. Hamilton was asked whether Mercedes had turned up their engines in FP1, potentially in advance of taking another grid penalty this weekend, but he brushed off the suggestion and said there are no such plans. "A penalty? No. We go through our modes to practice our modes, but we don't have any penalties coming," said Hamilton, who is running his fourth Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) of the season, with five races remaining. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has not ruled out Hamilton having to take another new ICE before the campaign is over. Should Hamilton's car be fitted with a fifth ICE, it would result in a five-place drop, given that he has already exceeded his allocation. However, additional penalties would apply if other elements in his power unit are changed. Mercedes lead Red Bull by 23 points in the Constructors' Championship heading into this weekend's Grand Prix, while Hamilton trails Verstappen by 12 points in the Drivers' standings.

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