Saturday, September 24, 2022

Verstappen, Perez, Sainz join list of Monza F1 grid penalties

Two weeks after taking a fully new power unit in Belgium, Red Bull has decided to add a new internal combustion engine to Verstappen’s engine pool, incurring a five-place penalty for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

Monza is seen as a prime opportunity to introduce new power units and take a grid penalty as its long straights should make moving up the field much easier than at the next races in Singapore and Japan.

Therefore, Verstappen will add a fresh fifth ICE to his pool while taking a minimal hit.

As widely expected, Verstappen’s teammate Perez has also had a fresh V6 engine installed.

As it is the first time Perez has exceeded his allowance of three ICEs, he will take a 10-place grid penalty. Perez has also taken his fourth gearbox, which is still within limits.

On Friday it was initially revealed that Ferrari driver Sainz would take a new energy store, MGU-K and gearbox, which would cost him 25 places on the grid.

Ahead of FP2 Sainz also took new control electronics, which triggered a back-of-the-grid start for the Spaniard.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Either way Sainz will be joined at the rear by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who has also taken a fourth power unit of the season, as was announced on Thursday.

Yuki Tsunoda will start at the back of the grid as well. The AlphaTauri driver had been slapped with a 10-place grid penalty for receiving a fifth reprimand of the season in Zandvoort last week, where he was penalized for driving to the pits with his seatbelts loosened after he stopped on track.

With Tsunoda taking a penalty anyway, AlphaTauri has taken the opportunity to give him new power unit.

Tsunoda’s day got worse when he copped a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow down sufficiently for yellow flags in FP2, which were caused by Mick Schumahcer’s stricken Haas. The Japanse driver also received two penalty points, taking his total up to eight for the past 12 months.

Finally, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas has also turned F1’s wheel of fortune and came away with a 15-place grid drop for taking a new ICE, turbocharger and MGU-H from Ferrari.

With his immediate rivals taking a grid penalty, Charles Leclerc’s chances of winning his second Italian Grand Prix on Ferrari’s home soil have received a boost, although the penalties for Sainz, Perez and Hamilton have afforded Verstappen an easier path to the front.

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