Hamilton regretting Belgian Grand Prix penalties

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Lewis Hamilton admits taking penalties for power unit changes at the Belgian Grand Prix may have been a mistake.

A series of changes to his engine components resulted in world championship leader Hamilton accumulating a 55-place grid demotion, with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday instead used to tune the car up for the race, rather than showing pace.

But with searing heatĀ and track temperatures at Spa-Francorchamps leading to accelerated tyre degradation, the BritonĀ - who set the slowest time in Q1 - acknowledged it will be a significant battle with similar conditions predicted on Sunday.

"We are not easily the quickest here and with the temperatures it is probably the worst time to take the penalties," said Hamilton.

"We are all going to have massive degradation, it is going to be two or three stops, I don't know who is going to be able to look after their cars or not.

"We are all struggling to look after our tyres so it is not going to be a cool easy breezy day where I'm just picking them off one by one. I might get past three cars tomorrow and my tyres might be gone.

"The car is okay. It was definitely a weird qualifying session for me. Today was really important for us to make sure the car was right for tomorrow. There was no point in showing any pace today.

"We know already the medium and the softs are the best tyres. The supersoft is terrible."

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg will start from pole position, with Max Verstappen guiding his Red Bull to second.