Four drivers will serve grid penalties at this weekend’s Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix for exceeding the allocation of power unit elements for the season.
Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, as well as Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr and McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso, will all start from the final two rows of the grid for Sunday’s 53-lap race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
With Renault not expected to be able to match the performance levels of rival engine suppliers Mercedes and Ferrari on Monza’s long straights, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Sainz have all taken on new power unit elements to ostensibly improve their prospects at the following Grand Prix at Singapore.
Under this year’s regulations, each driver is permitted to run a total of four power units without penalty for the 2017 season. The first use of a a power unit element above this allocation attracts a 10-place grid penalty, with each subsequent element in the same cycle attracting a further five-place grid drop apiece.
Ricciardo (pictured above) has a 25-place grid penalty for taking on a sixth MGU-H (10 places), plus a fifth Internal Combustion Engine and Turbocharger (5 places apiece). The Australian also has a five-place grid drop for an unscheduled gearbox change, the third such occurrence of the season.
His teammate Max Verstappen will take a 15-place penalty, his first grid penalty of the year, for taking on a fifth Internal Combustion Engine (10 places) and Turbocharger (5 places). The Dutch driver suffered a suspected engine failure at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix that forced his sixth retirement of the season, although Renault technicians were able to fire up the power unit when his car was returned to the garage after the race.
Carlos Sainz Jr will also serve a 10-place grid penalty for taking on a fifth MGU-H, the first time he has exceeded his power unit element allocation this season. Worryingly, however, the Spaniard later suffered another power unit failure in Friday’s second practice session that could see him dropping further down the grid if he is forced to take on further parts.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso is no stranger to grid penalties this season thanks to Honda’s continued poor reliability and its need to continually introduce new power unit upgrades to bridge the significant gap to its rivals. This weekend the Spaniard will take a 35-place grid drop after temporarily running Honda’s ‘Spec 3.7’ upgrade in FP1, which he will use again at the Singapore Grand Prix where his MCL32 will be a more competitive prospect.
Having taken on his ninth Turbocharger, ninth MGU-H, seventh Internal Combustion engine, seventh MGU-K, sixth Energy Store and fifth Control Electronics, the two-time champion will drop 35 places on the grid.
Image via Red Bull Racing