Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel on penalty bubble
Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are among the drivers likely to face a grid penalty for using a sixth power unit element.
All three World Champions have now reached five power unit elements, and in Alonso’s case in four of the six categories – and in fact all six drivers who use Ferrari engines are now close to getting penalties.
In Monza Daniil Kyvat became the first driver to land a penalty for using a sixth example of one of the six elements, in his case an ICE, or V6. The Russian will now face a five-place penalty as soon as he uses a sixth example of any other element, and will get 10 places if uses a seventh ICE.
“The rules are as they are but surely at some stage we have to take some penalties, which penalties those will be is not entirely clear yet,” said Vettel. “We’re waiting for some parts, we’re hoping that we get as far as we can, but it’s inevitable to go for an extra engine on my side – which is already ten positions after qualifying.
“Potentially there is more waiting for us – which is only a consequence of the poor season we had, first half of the season, in terms of reliability. But that’s something we knew back then. Now we have to figure out what is the smartest plan, let’s say, and the smartest track to come up with a penalty.”
Brazil, given the ease of overtaking at Turn One and the prospects of a wet race, is regarded as the best place to take a penalty – if any of the drivers currently on the bubble can wait that long.
Here’s the full list of those who have reached five, listed in number order:
(ICE=Internal Combustion Engine, TC=Turbo, MGU-K/H=Motor Generator Unit Kinetic/Heat, CE=Control Electronics)
Sebastian Vettel: ICE, TC, MGU-H
Fernando Alonso: ICE, TC, CE, MGU-H
Kimi Raikkonen: ICE, MGU-H, CE
Romain Grosjean: TC
Pastor Maldonado: ICE, TC, MGU-K, MGU-H
Adrian Sutil: ICE, TC, MGU-K, MGU-H, CE
Esteban Gutierrez: TC, MGU-K, MGU-H, CE
Jean-Eric Vergne: MGU-K
Daniil Kvyat: ICE (6), MGU-K, MGU-H (5)
Jules Bianchi: ICE, TC, MGU-H, CE
Max Chilton: ICE, TC, MGU-K, MGU-H
Kamui Kobayashi: MGU-K