Vettel and Raikkonen take grid penalty hit in Austin

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are both set to take 10-place penalties in Austin as they will both run fresh V6s.

Both men have already used four engines, but the team has decided that it’s worth taking the hit in the USA to gain more performance for the last three races. It’s understood that while no tokens have been used, the V6s do feature some revisions.

The news means that it’s a lot less likely that Vettel can keep the title battle alive until Mexico.

“We will have the hit of 10-places penalty for a new engine at this event,” said Vettel. “But it has always been the plan, it is not a big secret. No surprise for us. To explain to you the story, it was always the plan for us, to have the strongest engine available at every single point in the season, and I think our engine guys have done a massive job.

“So this should not be understood as a downside. If anything this is a very positive sign because we have been pushing very hard and the guys managed to make big steps in terms of performance.”

Elaborating on the pros and cons the German said: “Obviously if you look at just this race, isolated, for sure it’s not great news. But then you have to look at the while project, the whole season, and it was always the plan to have a fresh engine until the end of the season here. As I said the priority was always to have maximum power at every single race, and that has been our plan.

“It has worked very well so far. Obviously we have to take the hit here, but as I said you should see the positive, the fact that we were able to make big steps.”

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