Jenson Button has been handed 25 places of grid penalties in Austria after changing engine components overnight.
Button became the first driver to take a sixth power unit element in 2015 when he went to his sixth turbo, and his sixth MGU-H. The first change earns him 10 places, and the second another five. In addition he has gone to his fifth V6 and fifth MGU-K, which are worth five places each, making for a total of 25.
The FIA has confirmed that it was informed last Tuesday that the first three changes would happen in Austria, but the MGU-K was added to the job list only on Friday night.
Fernando Alonso already had 20 places of engine grid penalties, but he has picked up another five today after a gearbox failure in FP3 necessitated a change. Both McLaren drivers look set to face a drive through or more likely a 10s stop and go in the race because they won’t be able to use up the grid penalties.
Meanwhile Daniil Kvyat has officially joined RBR team mate Daniel Ricciardo on a 10 place penalty after taking a new V6 overnight.
11 responses to “Button joins Alonso, Ricciardo and Kvyat on grid penalties”
This is no longer the pinnacle of racing.
That’s the understatement of the year.
I find the idea that Alonso, for example, gets a *20* grid spot penalty – for things that neither he nor his team are responsible for or have any control over – to beggar belief. How anyone in F1 can explain this to anyone outside of F1 with a straight face is beyond me. Heck, how anyone can explain it *at all* is beyond me.
At least Hulkenberg got a week of “fresh air” and a reminder of how top level professional racing can be (despite the complexities of the cars.)
I know these restrictions are about keeping costs down but it’s just getting silly now. I’d rather see some sort of heavy penalty on constructors championship points for taking extra engine elements. Would obviously keep the top teams honest, but today for example it would means that qualifying would actually matter to the like of Button, Alonso, Ricciardo & Kvyat.
I’m miss F1.
“Lets improve the show!”
“Yes, lets do that. Lets banish 2 of the biggest teams with one of the most popular drivers to the back of the grid!”
This sport, its so pathetic its almost funny.
If your engine isn’t good straight out of the box, you can’t improve it for three years. If it breaks, you get a grid penalty that is greater than the number of cars on the grid. You then get one of four (four!) further penalties.
You couldn’t make it up. Except of course, some committees and the FIA did exactly that…
It was also interesting to see Wolff and Lauda laughing af the sight of Rosberg going off.
Not something they would have dared to do if the roles were reversed and Hamilton had spun.
I’m surprised that ANY engine builder would want to get involved with F1, given the rules.
Bottom line to all of this is I don’t think anyone in a rules approving position could have anticipated the fall from contention Renault is experiencing. Likewise who could have anticipated Honda ‘ s abject failure so far. Certainly not Alonso.
MB has built on their success from last year and Ferrari have come back well enough to pressure the Merc’s, and I expect better competition from the balance of the field to make the rest of the season interesting.
Yeah, it sucks watching my favorite team wallow, but if The Ronster can handle the pain so can I. The big question is can Renault rebound enough to silence Dietrich’s abusive threats.
But that’s just it – the folks in the rule-making and rule-approving positions have historically been total crap at thinking ahead. They *should* have had a contingency plan laid out for the current scenario. They SHOULD have thought of this. That was their task (which theoretically extended somewhat beyond answering the engineer’s eternal question, “Do you know what *else* would be cool??”)
All of the engine makers through F1 history (until this new “power unit” nonsense was foisted upon everyone) were really doing nothing but refining a known technology that had been in use for several-to-many decades. Everyone knew how it worked, knew the potential fail points, etc. This is why they were able to have frozen V8 engines with parity. (I have a 500+ hp V8 in my own road car that *I* can work on!) But why in the world would they assume that *all* of these “tuners” would be able to successfully design, produce, and master an entirely new, ultra-complex propulsion technology in a very short time – and be so certainly of this that they would/could set in play self-destructive rules that would seriously degrade the quality of the series in just 18 months? It just reeks of technological arrogance and hubris.
No matter what Toto “spokes-model” Wolff says, F1 is *not* and has *never been* a proving ground for road car tech. Quite the reverse, in fact. Nor should it be. Nor will it ever be while still maintaining (??) what made F1 so popular. Who cares if the Merc guys “back at the lab” have been learning stuff that’s being used in the upcoming road cars? (One of Toto’s offered “proofs”.) I’m sure that whatever feature it adds to the C300 was worth the billions spent on the F1 program. (:eyes rolling in head:)
I’m with Bernie. Bring back the screaming V8s (V10s = even better, V12s = better yet) and bring back the real F1 show. If Merc wants to exit stage left because of it I’ll gladly hold the door for them.
What happens when we hit engine freeze and Renault and/or Honda is/are still 50-100 hp down on Merc and Ferrari? Do they change the rules THEN? Or do they just wave goodbye to an engine maker while mumbling “Oh well, that’s F1 – they just couldn’t cut it. Good riddance. More money for us!” under their breath.?
Re: Ferrari pressuring Merc.
If you take the highest qualifying Ferrari’s Q3 time at each race and subtract it from the highest qualifying Merc’s Q3 time and the average the differences, in 2014 Ferrari was 1.2 seconds behind Merc (on average.) This year, so far, it’s 0.6. And that’s a solid 0.6. Today’s 0.3 on a non-representative track skews the average. Last year at Austria it was also 0.3 and it skewed the average, too. So, over the winter Ferrari found 0.6 seconds. Clearly an improvement. Chassis? Engine? Team morale? All of the above? Who knows? But I hardly think that Merc actually feels pressured by Ferrari. The distance between them has stayed constant; they aren’t successfully “coming to get them” in any sense. Given the rules why would it be otherwise? How could they change something of real import? The real pressure Merc feels is how to make it seem to the world (and the board of directors) like they are winning a real competition with real competitors rather than just steamrolling everyone (and the series in general) with better engineering ( a good thing), grinning p.r., and stonewall politics (not so much.) That’s why Merc was so happy to play up Vettel’s victory in Malaysia. The seemed to enjoy the fact of it almost as much as Vettel did. “See? It really *is* a competition!”
“I can’t sell a crap product to the public.”
– Bernie Ecclestone
All relevant but you omitted one small point. It was MB, Renault, and Ferrari who insisted on the current engine rules.
You’re absolutely correct. To be fair, Ferrari was sort of backed into the corner when the others wanted an in-line FOUR cylinder and they vetoed that idea. And don’t forget that when you say “Mercedes insisted” or “Ferrari insisted” what you really mean is that their respective engineering teams told management “this is doable and would be really neat!” (and it would give them all semi-guaranteed jobs for years to come.)
Ferrari particularly thrilled by having to use turbos (again) but they could see the writing on the road car walls.
I’m not sure why Red Bull would give a rat’s behind as long as it worked and there was parity between the different power plants.