Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

Alonso becomes first driver to take power unit change penalty in 2022

2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso will start his home race from the back of the grid after Alpine fitted a fresh power unit to his car for today’s race.

He will become the first driver this year to take a penalty for exceeding the maximum permitted number of power unit components they are allocated for the season.

At the sixth race of what is now a 22-round championship, Alonso has already exceeded his allocation of internal combustion engines, turbochargers, MGU-Hs and MGU-Ks (three of each) as well as energy stores and control electronics (two of each).

Alpine has also fitted a new exhaust to Alonso’s car, which is the third he may use this season, out of a maximum of eight.

F1’s rules state that a 10-place grid penalty is applied the first time an additional element is used and a five-place penalty for further elements. If a driver incurs a grid penalty of more than 15 places in a single event they are required to start from the back of the grid.

Alonso qualified 17th on the grid for his home race, so will only lose three positions. He blamed a “misunderstanding” with his team on the radio after he began his final lap of Q1 behind Lando Norris and aborted his attempt.

His penalty promotes Lance Stroll to 17th on the grid, followed by the Williams drivers Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi.

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2022 Spanish 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 “Alonso becomes first driver to take power unit change penalty in 2022”

  1. Good opportunity for taking the inevitable penalties.

  2. I wonder if Andretti is having second thoughts about using a Renault engine if he gets F1 entry. Maybe take a look at a Red Bull powertrain?

    1. Red bull has been less reliable than the Renault

  3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    22nd May 2022, 12:39

    Alonso believed he wouldn’t score any points today and also only a 3 place grid drop so no real penalty and no lasting penalty going forward.

  4. Is this a change for tactical reasons?

    If they’re already near the back and know they’ll need a 4th engine they might as well take one today.

    1. Yes a tactical decision. Probably the most teams need an extra engine at the end of this season. This is one of the reasons I don’t like the maximum components rules. If its broke just fix it why give a penalty?

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