Lando Norris, McLaren, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2021

Norris and Ocon will also start at back of grid after power unit change penalties

2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon will start this weekend’s Mexico City Grand Prix from the back of the grid, as they have also exceeded their allocation of power unit components.

The pair are having new power units fitted to their car for the 18th round of the season. Both were already at the limit for most elements.

The pair will take a new engine, turbo and MGU-H. Ocon will also have a new MGU-K, control electronics, energy story and exhaust.

They will join Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda, who have also taken penalties, at the rear of the field for Sunday’s race.

Norris’ penalty means all eight Mercedes-powered drivers have now exceeded their allocation of parts. The manufacturer has been working to solve a reliability problem with its power units which has led Valtteri Bottas to use six engines this season, more than twice the maximum limit.

Four-fifths of the 20 drivers in the field have now exceeded their maximum allocation of power unit parts. Only Ferrari customers Haas and Alfa Romeo have avoided penalties so far.

Among those who have exceeded their allocations, some have done so due to accident damage, as was the case of Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Both Alfa Romeo and Haas drivers will have new exhausts this weekend but have not exceeded their allocations.

The stewards have also confirmed a five-place grid penalty for George Russell, who has changed his gearbox before his previous unit had completed six consecutive events as required.

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Power unit components used so far

No. Car Engine Driver ICE TC MGU-H MGU-K ES CE EX
77 Mercedes Mercedes Valtteri Bottas 6 5 5 4 2 3 6
3 McLaren Mercedes Daniel Ricciardo 5 5 5 2 2 2 4
14 Alpine Renault Fernando Alonso 4 4 4 4 3 3 9
31 Alpine Renault Esteban Ocon 4 4 4 4 3 3 9
10 AlphaTauri Honda Pierre Gasly 4 4 4 4 3 3 7
33 Red Bull Honda Max Verstappen 4 4 4 4 3 3 7
22 AlphaTauri Honda Yuki Tsunoda 4 4 4 4 3 3 7
55 Ferrari Ferrari Carlos Sainz Jnr 4 4 4 3 3 3 7
11 Red Bull Honda Sergio Perez 4 4 4 4 4 4 6
16 Ferrari Ferrari Charles Leclerc 4 4 4 3 3 3 6
5 Aston Martin Mercedes Sebastian Vettel 4 4 4 3 2 2 5
18 Aston Martin Mercedes Lance Stroll 4 4 4 2 2 3 4
31 Williams Mercedes Nicholas Latifi 4 4 4 2 2 2 4
63 Williams Mercedes George Russell 4 4 4 2 2 2 4
44 Mercedes Mercedes Lewis Hamilton 4 3 3 3 2 2 4
7 Alfa Romeo Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen 3 3 3 2 2 2 7
99 Alfa Romeo Ferrari Antonio Giovinazzi 3 3 3 2 2 2 7
47 Haas Ferrari Mick Schumacher 3 3 3 2 2 2 6
9 Haas Ferrari Nikita Mazepin 3 3 3 2 2 2 6
4 McLaren Mercedes Lando Norris 3 3 3 3 2 2 5

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2021 Mexico City 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 “Norris and Ocon will also start at back of grid after power unit change penalties”

  1. How surprising. This means only the Ferrari PU-customer quartet within each component allocation.

    1. Well, their engines were designed for running at much more power with much more fuel flow, lol.

  2. With only three engines allowed for the season, I think the best plan you could have from the start is to use four. Taking one back-of-the-grid start towards the later part of the year must be positively compensated for by being able to run all engines 25% shorter, thus getting more performance all the way through the season. I am not surprised most teams seem to be going in that direction, even overshooting it too.

    It made some sense at one point to limit the number of engines teams use, but I think when they got down to about 5 or 6 for 20-ish races it went too far. At that point, deliberately using too many started to become a viable option. And that defeats the whole purpose of saving costs. Speaking of which, under the now implemented budget cap, why not let them use as many power units as they want provided they can fit it into their budget? Specifics of the rules surely have to be adjusted, but that is the case year to year anyway. If a team want to use new engines every race for a power advantage they would have to cut down severely on other development spending. Just generally, let them spend their budget as they want now that they all have one.

    1. yeah, it seems that is exactly what the teams were thinking, would also explain why 2 of the poorest teams would not do that and try to get through with one engine less used to save cost, since that might well be far more important for both Haas and Alfa Romeo rigt now.

  3. Just had another thought, maybe a tweak of the rules could be made here if we are going to continue handing out these penalties. If less than 16 drivers go into qualifying without back-of-the-grid penalties, Q1 could be used purely to set the order of those starting at the back, while everyone else automatically goes straight into Q2. Would be quite neat.

    1. Interesting indeed, example russell vs vettel vs alonso would’ve been more interesting the other time.

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