It’s raining grid penalties on the Circuit of the Americas this weekend. Before the weekend begins Sebastian vettel and George Russell has already announced that they will be installing a new Mercedes engine. Moreover, it is exactly the same specifications as before, since the development of the engine has been restricted. Teams can only perform one major upgrade and on Ferrari After all, all manufacturers have already done this before the start of the season.
On Friday, Valtteri Bottas’s name could be added to that list. Unlike other drivers, the Mercedes driver only opts for a new combustion engine (ICE), already his sixth of the season. This means that the Finn does not have to start at the back, but incurs “only” a penalty of five grid places. Bee Fernando Alonso it’s different. FIA documents show that Alpine replaced all components. Alonso can therefore count on a new ICE, MGU-H, MGU-K, turbo, battery, control electronics and a new exhaust system.
It exceeds the amount allowed for all these components, with in theory more than sixty places on the grid as a result. It is remarkable that Alonso also exceeded the limit with the exhaust systems. Of these, eight are permitted and most drivers fall far short of that number. As with Vettel and Russell, “back of the grid” is written behind Alonso’s name. Who actually starts in 20th place is determined on the basis of the qualifying result. The fastest man of the aforementioned trio can start eighteenth.
Alpine made the change mainly as a precaution, after Alonso stopped during the first free practice on Friday. The France team suspected a water leak, was able to continue training, but does not want to take any risks for the rest of this weekend. Plus, this Switch gives Alonso extra components in his pool for the next race weekends. An added bonus is that passing on the Circuit of the Americas is perfectly possible and Austin is a better place for a grid penalty than, say, Interlagos.
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