Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monza, 2017

Grid penalties confirmed for Ricciardo, Verstappen, Alonso and Sainz

2017 Italian Grand Prix

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Four drivers will take grid penalties for the Italian Grand Prix after using more than their permitted allocation of power unit components.

Sergio Perez, Force India, Monza, 2017
Italian GP practice in pictures
Fernando Alonso has been given the largest penalty. He will be demoted 35 places after taking his ninth turbo charger and MGU-H, seventh engine and MGU-K, sixth energy store and fifth control electronics. All are above the maximum permitted four examples of each component drivers may use during the season.

Both Red Bull drivers have also been given grid penalties. Daniel Ricciardo will move back 20 places after taking his sixth MGU-H and his fifth engine and turbocharger. Max Verstappen has a 15-place grid penalty as he is using his tenth engine and fifth MGU-H.

Carlos Sainz Jnr has also exceeded the maximum number of component changes on his Renault power unit. His tenth MGU-H will see him get a ten place grid penalty.

Drivers power unit components after FP1 at Monza

No.CarEngineDriverICETCMGU-HMGU-KESCE
14McLarenHondaFernando Alonso799765
2McLarenHondaStoffel Vandoorne699666
55Toro RossoRenaultCarlos Sainz Jnr556233
3Red BullTAG HeuerDaniel Ricciardo556322
33Red BullTAG HeuerMax Verstappen545233
31SauberFerrariPascal Wehrlein444333
9SauberFerrariMarcus Ericsson444333
30RenaultRenaultJolyon Palmer444233
77MercedesMercedesValtteri Bottas444322
44MercedesMercedesLewis Hamilton444322
8HaasFerrariRomain Grosjean443333
20HaasFerrariKevin Magnussen443333
27RenaultRenaultNico Hulkenberg334333
5FerrariFerrariSebastian Vettel343333
7FerrariFerrariKimi Raikkonen343333
26Toro RossoRenaultDaniil Kvyat334323
31Force IndiaMercedesEsteban Ocon333232
19WilliamsMercedesFelipe Massa333222
11Force IndiaMercedesSergio Perez333222
18WilliamsMercedesLance Stroll333222

ICE: Internal Combustion Engine, TC: Turbocharger, MGU-K: Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic, MGU-H: Motor Generator Unit: Heat, ES: Energy Store, CE: Control Electronics

2017 Italian Grand Prix

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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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  • 47 comments on “Grid penalties confirmed for Ricciardo, Verstappen, Alonso and Sainz”

    1. McLaren should put a claim against the manufacturer of the Control Electronics.
      All teams only used 2 or 3, but McLaren is already on their 5th and 6th unit. This is a standard item and some sinister things are happening here.

      1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        1st September 2017, 11:35

        Good point. In contrast, one could speculate that If things overheat or explode, everything close to it may get damaged too.

        1. That’s probably the explanation, good point.

      2. If I remember correctly the standard ECU is produced by McLaren. In that case it would be quite funny if they sue the producer!

        1. At least they could save on postage delivering the writ…

        2. @mosquito, yes, you are correct – McLaren Electronic Systems, which is a subsidiary of McLaren, produce the standard control unit for use in F1 (and have done so for nearly a decade now).

      3. I took the liberty to copy this table into Excel and find out the average for each engine and the average in total to see which are the better engines overall (we all know Honda’s outcome). The only adjustments I made was change Red Bull’s engine to Renault, since it’s just the name and otherwise identical to what the works team has. And changed the Sauber Ferrari’s to 2016 since it’s not fair to mix these into the 2017 engine results. The outcome is as following:

        ICE – average for all cars is 4
        Honda 6,5
        Renault 4,2
        Ferrari 2016 – 4
        Ferrari 2017 – 3,5
        Mercedes – 3,3

        TC – average for all cars is 4,3
        Honda – 9
        Ferrari 2016 – 4
        Renault – 4
        Ferrari 2017 – 4
        Mercedes – 3,3

        MGU-H – average for all cars is 4,4
        Honda – 9
        Renault – 4,8
        Ferrari 2016 – 4
        Mercedes – 3,3
        Ferrari 2017 – 3

        MGU-K – average for all cars is 3
        Honda – 6,5
        Ferrari 2016 – 3
        Ferrari 2017 – 3
        Renault – 2,5
        Mercedes – 2,3

        ES – average for all cars is 3,0
        Honda – 6
        Ferrari 2016 – 3
        Ferrari 2017 – 3
        Renault – 2,7
        Mercedes – 2,2

        CE – average for all cars is 2,9
        Honda – 5,5
        Ferrari 2016 – 3
        Ferrari 2017 – 3
        Renault – 2,8
        Mercedes – 2

        So except for MGU-H Mercedes is by far the most superior. Even taking into account both Mercedes drivers have taken their 4th engine already before this race. They’re really in a league of their own. Also nice to see Ferrari made significant performance steps this year including increased reliability. Not one part is worse (on average) in the 2017 car.

        1. Thanks for putting this together!

      4. They probably just replace them when they know they’re going to be at the back of the grid anyway…

        1. +1. Big teams are still “overspending” since they replace good parts.

    2. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      1st September 2017, 11:33

      “… Verstappen has a 15-place grid penalty as he is using his tenth engine …”

      Wait, what? Ten?! That’ll make even Honda go “wow”. Are you sure it’s his tenth? The table says he uses his fifth ICE.

      1. Must be a typo, it’s his fifth.

      2. And Carlos Sainz Jnr is using “just” his 5th MGU-H, I think ;-)

        1. 6th, according to the table :oops:

    3. So the rule is 10 places for every extra engine and 5 for all every extra of the other things, right?

      1. No, it’s 10 places for first component of “penalty set” and 5 for the rest.

    4. This is a good idea i love grid penalties

    5. This is just getting silly now. They really need to rethink how they control this as in a cutting edge motor sport, engines are going to blow up etc. As a fan, I do not want to see numerous cars given grid penalties before the race even starts for things that simply break…

      1. A fine or certain percentage of constructor’s points taken away as a penalty would be better ways to deal with the situation.

        1. Or just find a better way to attempt to control costs. Reducing a teams potential profits is not a good way to control costs, it just makes the situation worse. Reducing the points they earn is also counter productive as it leads to reduced sponsorship money and therefore again hits the bottom line… The idea is to make it cheaper for the teams to compete not to make it more expensive. Perhaps more testing should be allowed as this would mean the teams could improve their reliability easier and quicker which would lead to less engines being used and hence would make it cheaper to compete.

          1. Lennard Mascini (@)
            1st September 2017, 13:28

            More testing to control costs?!? Testing was REDUCED to LIMIT COSTS!!!

            1. And has that worked?

            2. Allowing more testing is basically worst way to go. It will drastically increase the costs, making it even more difficult for smaller teams. Did teams like Manor often have grid penalties? Because I got the feeling the small teams actually have managed to sort reliability out with limited testing. Removing a certain percentage of constructor’s points would mostly affect richer teams. Them losing points would only benefit the real minnows.

            3. Not really. Removing constructors points from a small team could be the difference between them getting enough money to survive or going bust…

              Did manor go bust?

              Some extra testing would enable smaller teams with less advanced simulators etc to be able to more easily improve their cars and would enable engine manufacturers to iron out more kinks in their reliability, thus requiring less engines which in turn costs less…

            4. True, but it seems to be small teams rarely have to take grid penalties / reduced points. It’s a possible outcome, but not the likely one.

              Allowing little bit of testing only makes it worse for minnows. They’re small teams, they won’t have the chance to bring precious updates to those rare testing chances unlike midfield/top teams. Sauber has skipped in-season testing sessions because of this, and allowing others to test certainly haven’t helped their cause least bit.

              Did Manor go bust? Yes, but if points were taken away from McLaren for over-using different power units, we might still have them on board…

            5. Testing parts out of testing requires very advanced CFD and wind tunnels. Larger teams have much better CFD and wind tunnels and so get much better correlation. Smaller teams stand to benefit quite a bit from real world testing. Plus if the design restrictions were relaxed a lot then the small teams would likely come up with innovative and cheap solutions. The fact is that a lot of money is spent extracting tiny improvements as the design restrictions are so tight there is little room for innovation.

        2. How about a refund?

        3. @huhhii, the problem there is that penalising teams through a loss of WCC points or revenue would disproportionately hurt midfield teams, which are also the same teams that have been pushing for means to control costs in the first place.

    6. I am against docking constructors points alone as the driver and team are in it together (winning or losing). Just as Force India don’t get extra points when Ocon and Perez collide, neither should Ricciardo and Verstappen get extra points while Red Bull doesn’t. That is the way the sport has always been and it is one of the things that makes F1 unique.

      One way to solve this problem I believe could be to give a drive through penalty or a time penalty to the driver that can be served by him whenever he wants in the race (not necessarily at the first pit stop or within 3 laps). Another option would be the deletion of the best time from each of the qualifying sections (this could be a very good option as the strategic options for the race would also reduce). In addition, there could a grid drop penalty only after 3 extra of any specific unit are used (instead of 1 extra), so you would get a grid drop on 5th, 8th ( and 11th engine.

      This way, there is some penalty (which should be the case, as shown by the Force India example above); but the quantum of penalty is lesser and team strategists have some wriggle room to minimize the damage.

      1. I’m sorry, but that sounds like a complete disaster.

        I just keep picturing trying to explain modern F1 to a fan. That sounds horribly complicated and a real turn-off.

        Saying that, I have no suggestion myself, so it’s a really tricky one.

        1. Why do you want to explain the complexities of grid-penalties to anyone? That’s like explaining the complexity of a free kick to a soccer fan, it doesn’t matter. Just watch the cars go round and enjoy. If they like cars going round, then they’ll look into the complexities of grid-penalties on their own, or at least read some F1 news.

    7. While I think they need to look at how the penalty’s for engine/gearbox changes are handled I’m not really sure what the solution is because the alternatives on the table (Point penalty’s or fines) are not really any better.

      The argument against grid penalty’s is that its unfair that the driver is penalized for an engine/gearbox issue, However how is it any fairer for a team to be fined or docked points for having to change a component which in the case of most teams they are buying as a customer.

      Additionally fines or points penalty’s are only going to hurt the smaller teams more as they are less able to afford a fine & less able to afford losing constructors points, Not just because the standings in the mid-field tend to be tighter but also because constructors points determines how much prize money they get at the end of the year. And something that was mentioned on Sky’s broadcast at Spa was that people within the team (Mechanics & engineer’s) can also get bonuses at the end of the year based on where a team ends up in the constructors standings.

      As Christian Horner said on Sky earlier, It gets brought up in various meetings between teams all the time but there never able to agree on what to do because they can’t find a solution that everyone can agree to.

      1. Controlling costs to such a degree in a sport like F1 is next to impossible. A better way to do it would be to more evenly distribute the money so that smaller teams can afford to compete and then reduce some of the silly cost controls which lead to grid penalties. Then allow some more testing but keep the restrictions on wind tunnel and CFD development. Currently Maclaren and Redbull etc are being punished because the companies making their engines are screwing up… that hardly seems fair and it affects the race artificially for the fans.

      2. Also they ought to relax the rules on the design of the cars. Currently teams have to spend huge sums to find tiny improvements as they are so restricted in what they can do. Small teams have historically been quite innovative and have found cheap but effective solutions, but this is next to impossible with the current design rules. If for instance the rules were relaxed then perhaps a team like sauber could design a new front end that could more easily follow close to another and hence give them a midfield advantage… or other similar innovations.

    8. A real opportunity for Force India if they can keep well behaved… with the Red Bull’s seemingly out of the way, they’ll likely occupy the third row. Any trouble up front and they could well be in for a podium with one of their drivers.

      1. @ben-n

        one of their drivers.

        I still see this becoming a bit of a problem :p

        1. Them snowflakes!

    9. Alonso will announce after Monza that he’s leaving McLaren for Williams

      1. Knowing Alonso’s luck in paths he chooses, he goes to Williams then McLaren will go with Renault and they’ll end up with a dominant engine.

      2. Ridiculous statement, or do you have a source?

        1. What’s ridiculous about it, sounds perfectly believable to me, and a source doesn’t make it any less ridiculous.
          Unless you mean to say “baseless prediction”, in which case yeah, where muh sawrs?

          1. Alonso to Williams definitely could happen but most likely won’t IMO. I would like to see it but….
            I don’t think ALO will want a hand me down Merc engine that doesn’t have a chance to win.
            I think he will definitely stay at McLaren especially if Renault comes on board.
            If Honda stays, he may well sign a 1 year deal if Honda can convince him the engine will improve vastly.
            He knows McLaren is firing on all cylinders – providing him a great chassis and it is a world class organization.

    10. All this illustrates is that the FIA have done an abysmal job of projecting reliability gains for the current tech regs.

    11. Back when they had V8 engines there was a limit of 8 per driver for the season before any grid penalties were taken, and they had development pretty much frozen. Now they have V6-T hybrid power units which are separated into 6 components and development is allowed, which means they are going to be less reliable than the V8’s, but they are only allowed 4 of each component before grid penalties. This is stupid because it means most drivers, if not all drivers, will definitely receive grid penalties in the final few rounds of the season and this could potentially decide the outcome of the championship if it is close, like it is this year.

      I recommend the grid penalty system to be changed like this:
      a) Increase the number of allowed power unit components and gearboxes to 6 per driver for the season to decrease the chances of drivers receiving grid penalties late in the season and to allow more scope for development.
      b) decrease the grid penalty numbers to 1 place per power unit component and 4 places per gearbox (so a maximum grid penalty of 10 places) so that qualifying doesn’t become completely pointless for any driver.

      1. <> Indeed … this has become ludicrous & meaningless, at best. 65 grid spots? Why not roll ’em over into following events and following years?

    12. Well, it seems as if McLaren moving to Renault engines is an improvement, but maybe not quite the one they think.

    13. These penalties are bo-locks :(. Four of the finest drivers on the grid are handicapped for no fault of their own!

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