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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Why F1’s title contenders have diverged on taking engine penalties

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Verstappen modified all his Honda energy unit components between FP1 and FP2 at Sochi, and the Dutchman will thus begin Sunday’s race from the back of the grid.

All groups are underneath stress to modify their drivers to a fourth energy unit because it turns into more and more clear that it is going to be tough to make the top of the season and not using a change, now that the complete calendar has been confirmed.

Pushing mileage dangers reliability points, whereas efficiency additionally tapers off the extra an influence unit is used.

Verstappen was in an much more tough place than most after one among his models suffered harm within the crash on the primary lap of the British GP, so his staff knew {that a} change was inevitable.

The Dutchman got here to Russia with a three-place grid penalty after his incident with Lewis Hamilton at Monza. With Mercedes historically on robust kind in Sochi, the choice was made to take the hit this weekend.

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Marko has additionally revealed that the staff has the choice to alter solely two components – believed to be the V6 and the turbo – which might have resulted in only a 10-place hit.

Nevertheless, it was finally determined to alter every little thing, a transfer that mechanically sends a driver to the again of the grid.

“Mercedes being so robust right here, to illustrate we end third in qualifying,” Marko instructed Autosport. “Plus three is six, so 16, as a result of we might have modified with solely 10 locations penalty, we had that selection.

“However between 16 and 20 does not make a distinction. So we selected to take every little thing. It is security, and you may assault within the coming races. You do not have to fret.”

Requested what Verstappen can obtain in Sunday’s race, he stated: “Qualifying does not matter for us. So we’ll concentrate on race set-up. It is relying on how the race goes, is there a security automobile or not?

“Then again, no person thought that you might overtake in Zandvoort, and [Sergio] Perez went as much as I believe eighth place with an additional cease. I believe numerous issues are attainable.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Picture by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff stated that his staff has no fast plans to equip Hamilton with a fourth energy unit.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas took a brand new engine at Monza and, having gained the dash qualifying occasion, he began the grand prix from the again of the grid.

Wolff insisted that Mercedes desires to take advantage of its robust kind at Sochi and bag most factors for Hamilton, who was second quickest behind Bottas on Friday.

“I believe we’ve an excellent alternative right here,” Wolff instructed Autosport. “If every little thing goes to plan that we’re beginning within the entrance, and hopefully can have a robust factors end.

“I believe for the time being we’re simply wanting on the growth of the ability unit when it comes to indicators of reliability points, which aren’t but there. So we’re taking it from weekend to weekend.”

In contrast to Verstappen and Bottas, Hamilton has not suffered energy unit harm in an accident, so he has extra leeway.

Nevertheless, Wolff acknowledged that it is going to be difficult to get the timing of any penalty proper.

“Precisely. And there generally is a weekend the place you’re completely off, otherwise you’re caught in an accident, and also you’re beginning on the again anyway. So I believe taking an influence unit prematurely is just not one thing that we might need to do.”

Honda’s newest energy unit package deal features a new spec vitality retailer, an instance of which Verstappen already took with out penalty at Spa.

Ferrari additionally has an upgraded energy unit at Sochi, which has been given to Leclerc. Like Verstappen, the Monegasque driver shall be in the back of the grid.

Wolff stated that Mercedes made its permitted upgrades initially of the season, and thus there shall be no efficiency achieve for Hamilton, aside from that related to mileage.

“The reality is we do not know what the others do. It is simply noise. For us, it is necessary to decide on the suitable time for upgrades. And we’ve achieved that at the start of the 12 months.

“We’re proud of how we have achieved it, and it is a shut combat, you possibly can see that everyone’s affected by some sort of reliability points, or bringing developments late.”

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