Pastor Maldonado has earned a 10-place grid penalty at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, after his Lotus F1 Team was forced to fit a sixth power unit element this season.

Maldonado is the second driver – Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was the first at Monza – to fall foul of the FIA’s power unit regulations.

Per the new rules, the first time a sixth element within the ‘power unit’ is used, a ten-place grid penalty is applied, followed by a five-place grid penalty for the sixth use of any other element. The process continues for the seventh use and so on, while a replacement of the entire power unit will result in a pit lane start.

Should Maldonado not be able to serve the full ten-place grid penalty in one hit – he’d have to qualifying twelfth-fastest or better to manage that – then the balance of the grid penalty will be served at the following race in Russia.

Image via XPB 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.