Lando Norris hit with hefty penalty in tight McLaren and Ferrari battle ahead of Mexico GP

Lando Norris opens up on mental health struggles in F1 career

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Lando Norris will start from the back of the grid after McLaren opted to take a new power unit ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix. From the eight Mercedes-powered cars on the grid, only Norris was yet to take a fourth power unit this season, as Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was hit with a grid penalty on Friday morning.

The penalty comes after team-mate Daniel Ricciardo took his fourth power unit in Turkey, and speaking ahead of the weekend, Norris admitted penalties could be looming.

“It’s something that’s ongoing,” explained Norris. “Nearly all the other Merc drivers have taken one.

“But it’s a conversation going on between our team and Mercedes as to what’s best before the end of the season, whether we do or we don’t, whether we take one now or before the end of the year.

“There’s not long left but whether we take one before the end of the season has yet to be decided.

“It will be a discussion that goes on until the end of the season.”

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Fears have been raised for Mercedes seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who rubbished any concerns he was about to be hit with another penalty at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

Hamilton took a fresh engine, but not a power unit, ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix, but his team-mate Valtteri Bottas is on his sixth change.

When Hamilton was quizzed on if Mercedes had turned up their engines in the first practice session, but turned it down for the second session because they could be expecting penalties later in the weekend, he replied: “A penalty? No.

“We go through our modes to practice our modes, but we don’t have any penalties coming.”

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Coming into the weekend, Hamilton said: “I believe our engines are strong, and as far as I am aware we’re hopefully going to the end.

“That’s not going to be an issue for us hopefully.”

AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda will also start from the back of the grid after taking his fourth power unit too.

Hamilton’s main title rival Max Verstappen leads the way by 12 points ahead of Sunday’s race, with Mercedes keen to not hand any advantage to Red Bull with five races remaining.

The championship is set to go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi, the final race of the season, with Hamilton keen to claw back points in the title fight.

Qualifying gets underway at 8pm BST on Saturday evening with the race at 7pm on Sunday.

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