A number of drivers will start the Malaysian Grand Prix with new power unit components. Both Felipe Massa of Williams and Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham will start the Malaysian Grand Prix with new Energy Stores (ES) and Control Electronics (CE). These components will be one of the five allowed for each driver throughout the 2014 Championship season.
Felipe Massa has used one energy store and control electronics component previously, meaning that he has three brand new options left. A little worse off, Kamui has used two previously, meaning he will be down to only two of each of those components.
Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson will also join Kamui in replacing the control electronics, his third of five. This is likely to be in response to the trouble that Caterham experienced at Albert Park with both Caterham drivers not finishing the race.
The energy store and control electronics are two of the key components of the Formula One cars’ power units. These power units are made up of six units, including the 1.6 L V6 turbo engine, as well as the ERS (Energy Recovery System) which is made up of two MGU (Motor Generator Units) which convert both heat and kinetic energy into usable electric energy.
The MGU-K, converts the kinetic energy into electricity, but also utilises the energy store to return up to 120 kW of energy back to the drivetrain.
Under the 2014 regulations, should a driver use use more than five of any one component he faces a penalty which can range from a five or ten place grid drop or worse. If the entire power unit needs to be changed, the driver faces the threat of starting the race from the pit lane.