LEWIS HAMILTON has been handed a huge boost ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix with title leaders Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen set to be demoted to the back of the grid.
The Brit driver is still looking for his first win of the season and will likely not get a better chance this season with both frontrunners having to fight through the pack.
Leclerc and Verstappen are just two of SIX drivers set to take penalties, with several teams choosing to take new power units and having to start from the back of the grid as a result.
McLaren's Lando Norris, Alpine's Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo and Haas' Mick Schumacher are the other drivers set to be penalised.
The penalties have been confirmed by the governing body the FIA after the first practice session.
Teams are believed to be taking the penalties at this race as it is easier in to overtake in Belgium and make up places than other tracks.
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It will throw the cat among the pigeons as F1 returns from its mid-season break at the legendary Spa circuit.
Leclerc and Verstappen have won all but two races between them this season but their low starting positions could open the door to other drivers.
Lewis Hamilton finished 2nd at the Hungarian Grand Prix and was very competitive at last month's chaotic British Grand Prix.
The seven-time World Champion is also on a run of five podiums on the bounce as Mercedes gradually close the gap to Ferrari and Red Bull.
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His team-mate George Russell may also now believe his first victory is within reach with the Brit snatching his first ever pole at Hungary in the last race.
Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, both with only a sole win so far this season, may also think their team-mates' penalties could open opportunities for the race victory.
After his early season struggles, Hamilton is feeling increasingly positive about his Mercedes car.
He told the Belgian Grand Prix press conference that the Merc was becoming "more of a racing car" after its uncompetitive showing in the early races.
The 37-year-old also had an active summer break as he toured Africa to explore his roots.
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