Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023

Alpine confident Gasly will avoid power unit penalty despite reaching limit in Canada

2023 F1 season

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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 team installed the fourth full power unit of the season into Gasly’s A523 on Saturday morning at last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. He is the only driver of the 20 on the grid to have used all four power units allowed under the regulations for this season, after 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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Author information

Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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4 comments on “Alpine confident Gasly will avoid power unit penalty despite reaching limit in Canada”

  1. Getting through 14 GP weekends without using any more engines, TCs, MGU-Ks, or MGU-Hs won’t be impossible, but very difficult & risks him being unable to push or race wholly in the last few races because of high component wear, so an ambitious plan.

  2. French maths are different to regular maths, I guess.

  3. Neil (@neilosjames)
    22nd June 2023, 19:19

    If Gasly does the rest of the season without taking more components, I’ll give every member of the team a beer.

  4. Renault still sucks engine wise that the reason Red Bull dropped them as the showed too little progression.
    And still it’s the weakest and worst reliable in the field.

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