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F1 drivers 'needed' this rule tweak on engines and grid penalties

Changes to the rules on power unit component usage was approved mid-season, much to the delight of some drivers that have struggled on reliability.

Russell engine 2023 Australia Mercedes failure
To news overview © XPBimages

Going into the 2023 Formula 1 season, it was clear that teams would need to ration their power unit components to get by without incurring unwanted penalties early on.

To combat this the F1 Commission agreed ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to approve an increase in the number of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), Turbo Charger, MGU-H, and MGU-K elements for 2023 from three to four per driver.

The change was a relief to some drivers who were already on their second ICE, which included Lando Norris, who lost his engine after the first round in Bahrain after suffering from problems with the pneumatics system.

"I mean, I needed it. I lost my first engine in Round 1," said Norris to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"So, nice thing for me. Bit of a disadvantage still but at the same time definitely for me a nice thing. So I'm happy with it [rule change]."

Logical decision from F1

Yuki Tsunoda agreed with the decision from the teams and F1 to increase the components will benefit everyone, although he also mentioned AlphaTauri's track record with reliability.

"It will be nice. I think most of the teams, including ourselves last year, we're using an extra engine, and always someone has to start from behind," he said.

"It just definitely makes sense to increase the amount of engines we can use in the year. It's a good thing for everyone."

Ferrari Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur, highlights the increase in races in the last couple of years since the regulation was agreed and recalls races where drivers were having to take grid penalties unnecessarily towards the end of the season.

"We were - for different reason - at three power units already when we were doing 18 races, now we are moving to 23/24, we are adding on top of this we are putting more and more constraint on the engines on Saturday," he explained.

"At the end of the day, everybody is taking the penalty and as we saw two or three years ago at Sochi and Monza, everybody took 10 places. We are only getting an [extra] engine to avoid penalties."

Used up PU components per driver

Driver ICE MGU-H MGU-K Turbo
Max Verstappen 1 1 1 1
Sergio Perez 1 1 1 1
Charles Leclerc 2 2 2 2
Carlos Sainz 2 2 2 2
George Russell 2 2 2 2
Lewis Hamilton 1 2 2 2
Esteban Ocon 2 2 2 2
Pierre Gasly 2 2 2 2
Oscar Piastri 2 2 2 2
Lando Norris 2 2 2 2
Valtteri Bottas 2 1 1 1
Zhou Guanyu 2 1 1 1
Lance Stroll 2 2 2 2
Fernando Alonso 2 2 2 2
Kevin Magnussen 2 2 1 2
Nico Hülkenberg 2 2 2 2
Nyck de Vries 2 2 2 2
Yuki Tsunoda 2 2 2 2
Logan Sargeant 2 2 2 2
Alexander Albon 2 2 2 2

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix