Alpine expect Pierre Gasly will avoid incurring a penalty for using too many power units during 2023, despite having reached the maximum limit of four well before the halfway point in the season.the original limit of three was increased.
Having already reached his total allowance for the year in round eight, Gasly will have to go 15 more rounds with the power units he has already used to avoid a grid penalty later in the season.
“I’m told we won’t take any more,” said the team’s sporting director Alan Permane. “I know it’s very early in the season, but that’s where he is.”
Permane indicated some of the power units Gasly has already run will be able for use again later in the season.
“He’s got enough to get him through to the rest of the year. There’s far cleverer people than me looking at that and allocation of mileages and power degradations, and all those sort of things.
“But at the moment, plans are to go through the rest of the year without a penalty.”
Gasly has only failed to finish one grand prix this season, in Australia, following a clash with his team mate Esteban Ocon after a red flag restart. However he has suffered multiple car problems in practice, including a fire in Azerbaijan and steering wheel problem in Canada last weekend.
“We have had some reliability problems that we do need to get on top of it, but there isn’t one thing that we’re panicking about,” said Permane. “We’ve had some niggles and I’m sure we’ll iron them out.
“The steering wheel problem we had with Pierre’s car is a complete freak, honestly. I was talking to the electronic guys, it’s not our part – it’s a part we buy and I think it’s probably on every single steering wheel up and down the pit lane. The design hasn’t changed since 2008 and it’s been bullet-proof.
“The power supply failed on it and we lost the clutch. That’s why you heard Pierre saying he thought he’d lost the driveshaft – what actually happened was it pushed the clutch in. Those things are tricky. You just have to go back, look at the life view of everything. Look at if it has been mistreated in any way, [ask] has it had a hard life somehow and try to understand why that has failed.”
Five drivers are already on their third power units this year: Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren’s Lando Norris, AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda and Williams’ Alexander Albon. Lceler and Sergio Perez have already received grid penalties in 2023 for exceeding their allocated totals of energy stores and control electronics.
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2023 F1 season
- Leclerc turns the tables on Sainz at last race in another close fight at Ferrari
- F1 teams banned from working on 2026 car designs until end of next year
- Strong second half of Piastri’s debut season will put Norris on alert for 2024
- Russell can’t repeat points win over Hamilton but proves a close match again
- Mercedes lost confidence in “disorientating” 2022 setback – Allison