Ferrari could be left rueing their poor engine reliability at the start of the season as the season draws to a close.

Fernando Alonso suffered a late-race engine failure at the Malaysian GP With just eight engines allocated per car for the 2010 season, it seems that both Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, have run all eight engines this season to-date, meaning that if a ninth engine needs to be fitted to either F10, the respective driver will have to incur a 10-place grid penalty.

The situation could be worse, however, as the number-22 Sauber of Pedro de la Rosa – now occupied by Nick Heidfeld – ran out of engines at the Belgian Grand Prix, incurring a 10place grid penalty when a ninth Ferrari engine was installed. Despite the change in driver line-up, Heidfeld is still subject to the same rule, and carries de la Rosa’s engine mileage.

The majority of the grid has used seven engines to-date, potentially giving them enough mileage to cope at the conceivably hotter Brazil and Abu Dhabi rounds at the end of the season. This group includes both cars from McLaren, Mercedes GP, Force India, Toro Rosso, HRT, Virgin and Lotus, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, Williams’ Nico Hülkenberg and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi.

Those in the pound seats – having used just six engines – are Mark Webber, Rubens Barrichello and both Renault drivers.

For Webber, this engine position could prove the clincher in the championship race.

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.