Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2015

Alonso and Ricciardo set for grid penalties

2015 Austrian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2015Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo are set to receive penalties for changing power unit components this weekend.

The McLaren driver will take his fifth new engine, turbo and MGU-H. These will incur him one ten-place penalty and two five-place penalties, meaning he will be penalised a total of 20 places.

As Alonso is unlikely to qualify high enough to be able to serve his entire penalty, he is therefore almost guaranteed to be penalised further in the race. He may start Sunday’s race knowing he has to take a drive-through penalty, as team mate Jenson Button did in Canada.

Daniel Ricciardo has also taken his fifth new engine, and will therefore have a ten-place grid penalty.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on “Alonso and Ricciardo set for grid penalties”

  1. This is ridiculous :(

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      19th June 2015, 11:06

      Yeah I know, Renault and Honda should’ve done a better job.

      1. @tophercheese21: If the regulations allow them to do so

        1. Regulations suited Ferrari and Mercedes just fine. The dumb heads who agreed to this rule should have thought about this issue when having the discussion about creating such a formula. @malik

        2. The regulations were set a long while ago and they should have done their homework better. They had enough time but sadly they weren’t able to produce at least a reliable engine, and this does not even tell the whole story about the energy deficit.

      2. It’s fine to blame Renault and Honda (and they deserve part of the blame) but when 50% of the suppliers are struggling this much, you have to ask if they have been given too difficult a task considering the lack of testing etc.

        Honda have/are proving to the world that you cannot join F1 as a new engine supplier anymore unless you time it so that you join as new regs come in.

        How can you have drivers stuck with uncompetitive cars being given 20 place grid penalties in addition to in race penalties through no fault of their own?

        1. Honda were rubbish last time they were in F1 this is no surprise to me. Everyone skipped over their last effort and focused on the late 80’s and 90’s. It’s like expecting Williams to dominate this years title because they were great in 1992. Honda are not a great engine supplier in recent years in any formula. I am confident in my gut feeling that Audi or Ford would do a better job than Honda. Renault got pressured so much by Red Bull they lost where they were, they should of been left alone to systematically work through their issues instead of being rushed into changing all sorts of areas because of RedBull pressure.

          1. Sure but Honda only have to compete against power units in their 2nd year of development at the moment. Audi or Ford (providing they entered in 2016) would have to compete against an even faster and more developed Mercedes. They wouldn’t stand a chance!

            With the current rules in place, it becomes harder are less attractive for new suppliers to enter each year!

        2. well the penalties this are much less draconian than last year where if you couldn’t serve all the grid drops, they carried over to future races until you could.

      3. Granted, Renault and Honda etc. should have matched Mercedes’ $500m engine spend, but a 20 place penalty in a field of 20 sounds totally ridiculous. He could get pole and start last, only serving 19 of the 20 places?

        1. ‘Luckily’ they can give a time (or drive through) for the other places otherwise there’s a chance he wouldn’t have have been able to serve all the grid penalties for the rest of the season.

        2. @fastiesty – Unless he qualifies on pole and is demoted to last place (which is a massive penalty), he will be further penalised during the race! For what!? Having an unreliable car!?

      4. indeed they should have @tophercheese21 :-)

    2. Pathetic. I’m sure Fernando must be pretty close to spitting the dummy now.

      1. In the name of cost saving, rather than changing things every 2 seconds it is clear there is a huge disparity in engines that did not occur when the V8 engines were introduced, why not balance engine performances like they do in WEC. Every year the FIA can check each engine and things can be altered or every 2 years. It would be cheaper than spending millions changing things then sitting with crossed fingers that no one team emerges dominant.

  2. Thrilling.

  3. 20 place grid drop in a 20 car grid?

    Remind me again what this accomplishes. Alonso will probably outqualify and Manor’s and maybe Button so for the race start he’ll get a 15 second stop go or something. Once that is finished he’ll probably overtake the Manor’s, then DNF with a failure of sorts rendering the entire debacle absolutely meaningless.

  4. Would it be more fair to deduct constructors points instead of penelise the driver….? I think so…

    1. @xtwl The problem with dropping constructors points is that it hurts some more than others.

      Losing constructors points for example does nothing of any significance to Mercedes while last year losing constructors points would have put Manor out of business as it would have dropped them from 10th in the constructors table & the prize money that went with it.

      The system we have now while not ideal is fair as everyone gets the same penalty & as was discussed during Sky’s FP1 coverage today it was something the teams themselfs came up with because it was the fairest system they could think of as the other solutions hit some harder than others (As I described above).

      1. @gt-racer – No it would not have dropped them. As the position when teams score 0 points in the table is decided by their highest finish across the season. Thus not changing a thing as Jules still finished ninth. The result does not get dropped, only the effective point(s).

        But I agree it would still hurt more than others as indeed Mercedes would not cry if they lost 10 points whilst other teams have their best season scoring 10 points.

        1. @xtwl But if the teams that don’t score don’t get their highest finishing position dropped, then it is very unfair.

          And how do you deal with the unfair advantage of a fresh new engine the driver will have over other drivers? New engine is a huge advantage in lap time.

          And how is it fair, if a driver wins or gets a good result as a result of the advantage of a new engine, and gets a massive amount of publicity for his team and its sponsors. Taking away publicity from teams and sponsors who followed the rules?

          Every time someone suggest or implies that the driver is not a part of the team, we get into these paradoxes and fallacious thinking. Fortunately, teams are smarter than that and have come up with a reasonable system in this case.

      2. @gt-racer – We’re mixing up different things that are broken about F1 here.

        “Losing constructors points for example does nothing of any significance to Mercedes while last year losing constructors points would have put Manor out of business”

        This is a separate massive problem on it’s own. The teams competing in the championship should all receive enough money for them to sustain their businesses. Look at the Premiership – the teams compete which bring the fans in and they are all paid a fair amount for doing so – even those who finish last. F1 only makes money because of the teams and they should all be paid fairly for that service.

        Separately, drivers shouldn’t be given the sort of punishment Alonso has been given because his car is unreliable. That is a punishment in itself already!

        Thirdly, several of the teams are stuck with their engine supplier because of the nature of how F1 is currently set up. Surely it should be the engine manufacturers who are punished for engines failing? I think we can all appreciate that at the moment, Red Bull are stuck with Renault. Ferrari, Honda and Mercedes won’t supply them. They are already losing out because of bad reliability in the engine – should they be punished further by losing points?

        1. The driver and the team are one. Every time a car issue occurs people think the driver should not be penalised. If so when a car is dominant then the driver should get no point only the team? If a driver crashes and it is their fault the team should not lose constructor points for the position they were in until the crash. Complete rubbish driver is a team member and they win and lose together or in this case take penalties together.

          1. Exactly! Everyone conveniently forgets, when it suits them, that F1 is a team sport. Teams win and loose together. The best driver cannot win without a good car, and the best team cannot win without a good driver.

            Would anyone suggest that a great striker or goal keeper be allowed to lift the cup in football if they are in a bad team?

            The problem is that we only see the drivers on race day. They are only a small part of the team. So many others are involved.

  5. and now Kvyat too

  6. Jelle van der Meer
    19th June 2015, 12:27

    Would it not be smarter for Red Bull and Mclaren to put 5th engine in 1st practice, put 6th engine in 2nd practice, put 7th engine in 3rd practice, 8th in qualifying and 9th for the race.
    That way they get like 250 grid places penalties – during the race have a 300 second stop & go penalty and will be last in the race.
    HOWEVER after they have 5 barely used engines for the rest of the season, rather sacrifice 1 race than the remainder of the season.

    1. Not sure how the rules are written but if they could get away with that, they absolutely should. It’s more than likely that Alonso won’t reach the end of the race anyway and considering he’s starting last and has a penalty to serve within the first few laps, the race is sacrificed already!

    2. Imagine the costs of doing that in one go.

    3. Quite cute. Though I wonder if they’ll get into hot water for “bringing the sport into disrepute”. In any case they wouldn’t try this until they run out of engine upgrade tokens, since otherwise they have little-used engines that they can’t develop further, and still need to take further penalties if they want to introduce an engine developed with more tokens.

  7. It’s so ironic that so called F1 fans are moaning away about F1, about Mercedes dominance and current regs being unfair and ruining the sport.

    This is after hailing Le Mans last week as one of the greatest motor-sporting spectacle’s on earth (to this I do not disagree). Which has in the last 15 years or so been dominated by one manufacturer and engine, with a couple of exceptions along the way. Kudos to Audi and Mercedes for playing the game and coming out better than everyone else more often than not. The rules are the same for everyone, it’s called sport and competition.

    Yet Audi got beat, fair and square … and so will Mercedes…

    1. Yeah but at the moment it is one rule for WEC another for F1 in many peoples perceptions.

    2. @psynrg

      I think the real issue is that with the current Formula being so engine dominated, and with so little that can be done in season and year to year wrt the engine, that it freezes in a massive competitive advantage for the one manufacturer that got it right.

      That was Dieter’s point – it’s not just one bad season, it’s being locked into multiple seasons where you can do nothing, regardless of the money the team spends or the personnel they have. It’s not the losing the bothers competitive racers, it’s the lack of hope that anything they do will allow them to compete. Why did Ham, Vet and Alonso all switch teams? Teams are no different, except they can leave to greener pastures.

      There’s also a reason why McLaren left Mercedes, and why DM at RB said that a customer team will never be able to win a championship against their engine supplier’s manufacturers team.

      The regs need to balance rewarding the teams that get it right, while allowing for other teams to develop. Fans don’t like the lack of competition or the feeling that there is no competition even possible.

      To Mercedes’s credit, they aren’t winning due only to the engine advantage, they have superior aero and chassis as well.

      1. @uan

        It all just sounds like ‘success ballast’ to me.

        F1 should always be about fighting against superiority within the boundaries of the current formula.

        The formula changes from time to time, sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes for questionable reasons.

        Can we ever, in the history of the sport, say there was a sustained period where any race or season could have been anybody’s?

        I agree, development and testing should be completely opened up again, but I cannot accept that F1 is any worse or different now than it has ever been. The teams build to the formula and the drivers extract a balance of minimum and maximum out of the cars in order to win.

  8. F1 is so sad now. After every GP i watched in the last 35 years, I may lose some poetry. I don’t want F1 to become like that

  9. 20 places! Just when it looked like he was going to get pole!

    1. Maybe reverse grids next year so McLaren are pushing hard to then start ahead of Manor.

  10. What a shambolic team. I cannot remember the last time a team with a decent racing budget, world champion drivers and top notch engineers was such a failure.

    Honda of 2007 and 2008 comes to mind, but even they were not as pathetic as the 2014 Mclaren

    1. Of course, Honda didn’t have World Champions back then, never mind a double champion.

  11. McLaren and RedBull should forget about 2015 and start working on their future cars:

      1. Beautiful concept!

  12. Problem with these grid penalties…is that there is even less chance of an exciting race now….as we get further into the season, we are going to get more penalties, and more drivers going to the back….getting drive throughs etc….Its not as though with Honda engines they are penalising the fast cars….and didn’t one of theirs blow on the way to the grid…so not exactly a race engine….scrap this rule now!!!!

    1. @jop452 The teams are the one’s who came up with the rule & they have blocked call’s to ditch it because there is no fairer option.

      If you go back to teams running as many engine’s as they want then your going to hurt the smaller teams who can’t afford to change engine’s as often as the big teams.
      If you keep the engine limits but remove the penalty’s then whats to stop teams swapping engine’s every race anyway.
      And if you move away from penalty’s that affect the drivers via fines or constructors point drops then your hitting the small teams (who can’t afford fines or points drops) more than the big teams like mercedes who would not be hit that hard by fines or points drops.

      at least with the current grid penalty’s each team is affected the same.

      besides the driver is part of the team, the team gets hurt when drivers make mistakes afterall.

  13. Is it even worth watching qualifying any more?

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