Lewis Hamilton's Belgian Grand Prix hopes hit after accepting grid penalty

He currently leads team-mate and rival Nico Rosberg in the championship

Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after getting the pole position in the qualifying session, at the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit, in Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, April 2, 2016. The Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Lewis Hamilton has confirmed he will accept a grid penalty at this weekend's Belgian F1 Grand Prix.

The punishment is related to engine issues and he is likely to be given at least a 10-place demotion.

"As far as l am aware we will be taking a penalty this weekend," he told reporters.

He and his team had envisaged taking the grid penalty - which was a consequence of reliability issues that plagued him at the start of the season - in Belgium or at the Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton leads Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by 19 points in the drivers' championship.

To gain at least one point at Spa, Hamilton would need to finish 10th in Sunday's Grand Prix.