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Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix close the back of the field after Mercedes confirmed he would take a grid penalty.
Hamilton's difficult start to the season resulted in him using more engine components than planned and under Formula 1 regulations, drivers are only permitted to use five components before a gird penalty is imposed.
Hamilton is likely to incur a ten-place grid penalty in Belgium but he could be demoted a further ten places if Mercedes elect to fit his car with additional parts. The team will make a final decision on how many new components to use after Friday's practice session at Spa-Francorchamps.
"As far as I am aware, we will be taking a penalty this weekend, yes," Hamilton said. "In terms of winning, that's the goal, but obviously it's going to be very hard if the gap has closed between other cars in the third evolution of these cars.
"Red Bull has been very quick in some of the races and the same with Ferrari particularly, and down the whole grid. So it is going to be hard -- or harder -- than it was in previous years to climb through the field, for sure. I'll do what I can and really it's about minimising the damage of taking the penalty."
Hamilton will be hoping to overcome his grid penalty but admits he is facing a difficult race on Sunday.
"I don't know how far I can get up and it depends on the pace of the car," he said. "So we'll start tomorrow and find out if Red Bull are right close with us, that'll be two cars less [I can overtake] and three [places] down and then the gap will follow behind. If the others are much, much slower the possibilities go up, but there could be safety cars and all sorts of things.
"I started last in Hungary a couple of years ago when the gaps [between teams] were much bigger and I came fourth, so Sunday is definitely going to be harder than that. I just hope I can get into the points, as long as I'm going forwards that's what matters."
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