Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Yas Marina, 2020

Perez and Magnussen to start at the back after power unit changes

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Two drivers will receive grid penalties for taking new power unit components at the final race of 2020.

Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen have exceeded the maximum number of components they are allowed to use on their Mercedes and Ferrari power units respectively. Both will start the race from the back of the grid.

Last week’s race winner Perez, who suffered an MGU-K fault which caused a fire at the previous round, has had a new engine, turbocharger and MGU-H fitted to his power unit this weekend.

Haas driver Magnussen has taken a new energy store and control electronics for the season finale.

Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer said a problem was discovered on Perez’s engine following his Sakhir Grand Prix victory but he didn’t think there was “a huge risk” it could have cost him the win.

“We deliberated long and hard as to what the risk would be for that powertrain to do an even further race. Time will tell, it’s never a controlled experiment. You don’t know if, had we not taken a new powertrain, that would have lasted. But on the balance of probabilities, we thought it would be best to go with a new powertrain and take the penalty.”

“It’s going to make it harder starting from the back,” Szafnauer admitted. “But at the same time we saw what Checo could do last weekend starting from the back – well, he didn’t start at the back, but he was last at one point and came through the field to win.

“It might be a little bit more difficult overtaking here but I still think it’s possible and we’ll do the best we can with our starting position.”

Three drivers now have grid penalties for this weekend’s race. Charles Leclerc arrived in Abu Dhabi with a three-place penalty for causing a collision with Perez at the start of the Sakhir Grand Prix on Sunday.

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2020 Abu Dhabi 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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6 comments on “Perez and Magnussen to start at the back after power unit changes”

  1. Well, will be interesting to see how far Perez can get up the grid on this track that is rather known for not being much use if you want to try and get through the field.

  2. To think he won and was flying on a used old power unit. Amazing!

    1. Bet he tore through as much boost mode as the PU could withstand, as much as was supposed to last for two more races, to keep the win secure. They can only withstand being run ragged for so long, and it would be a wise use of that rare chance he got to use it all in Bahrain.

    2. And and old spec floor, the new was only on Stroll´s car.
      It was always strange to me that they decided to use that old power unit last week when he had chances of doing well, I was expecting the change and penalty last week.

  3. Hopefully Perez and Magnusson can be more “Vettel 2012” than “Alonso 2010” when it comes to racing through the field in Abu Dhabi. You’d hope with fresh components and aero optimised for race day they could be handy.

  4. Pérez will have the chance to set up the car for racing mostly rather than for qualy, hope that helps him to get to big points and secure third constructors and fourth in drivers.

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