Lewis Hamilton will drive a new chassis this weekend after the Mercedes team found two large cracks in his car, reports Autosport.

Hamilton’s form in the second half of the season has been, in his words, 'shocking'. Team mate Nico Rosberg, however, has finished the last two races on the podium.

In order to understand why Hamilton’s performance has dropped off in recent races, his team, according to Autosport, conducted a strip down of his car in Austin. The damage found is believed to be significant enough to cause issues with the handling.

The team have opted to change the chassis in order to help rectify this problem and hope that it will help the Brit regain his lost form. Of course, this is crucial as Hamilton is still in the hunt for second place in the drivers’ championship, as well as supporting the team for second in the constructors’ championship.

Speaking to Autosport, Ross Brawn said:

"Lewis' results in Abu Dhabi were not what we expected, particularly compared to Nico.

"Nico did a great job in Abu Dhabi, but what was puzzling was that some of the behaviour of Lewis' car wasn't consistent with what we saw with Nico.

"Subsequently we had a very good look at the car and we found that the chassis was quite badly damaged - more than we thought.

"We knew he had had some excursions over kerbs and things, but when we actually got here and started to strip everything down, the damage was pretty significant. It may even be at a level that was affecting the handling of the car.

"So we have put a new chassis on the car, and he will go into the weekend with a new chassis because we want to clear all our doubt. There were certainly some very odd things between the two cars in Abu Dhabi."

Team principal, Brawn, could not say for certain as to when the cracks occurred.

This weekend is also significant for Lewis as he attempts to score a hat trick of wins in the US. Hamilton took his first win in the US at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in 2007, and followed it up with a win in Austin last year, as the sport returned to the country.

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Formula 1