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How big are Alonso's problems after using three engines in three races?

Fernando Alonso has already raced with three engines in 2022, the maximum number allowed during the entire season. However, Alpine have explained why the problem is not as concerning as it sounds for the two-time World Champion.

Fernando Alonso has used three engines during the opening three races of the 2022 season, but Alpine are not concerned about the reliability of their Renault E-Tech power unit. The 40-year-old looked on course to put his car on the front row in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, according to team boss Otmar Szafnauer, when he encountered a mechanical issue. The team say an O-ring on an oil seal failed, resulting in an oil leak that forced the engine into a "failsafe mode". The problem was cured for race day by changing the part. However, the main reliability problems faced by the French team in 2022 have centred around their power unit, with Alonso having used three engines during the first three Grands Prix of the campaign. "Don't worry, it will not be 23 [engines] in 23 races," joked Szafnauer when speaking to members of the media, including RacingNews365.com .

Alpine not concerned about apparent engine problems

The Sporting Regulations only allow drivers to use three Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) over the course of the season, with the use of a fourth resulting in a grid penalty. Alonso will, therefore, be punished should Alpine find themselves forced to use another new engine between now and the season finale in Abu Dhabi, 20 races away. But the problem is not as severe as it may seem, with two of Alonso's used power units still fully functioning and able to be run again, leaving the Spaniard only one engine down after the opening three rounds. Szafnauer reassuringly added: "We'll be okay; we'll manage."

Why Alpine have used so many power units

The one engine that has failed Alonso so far this season was the victim of a broken water pump, the team have explained. As a result of that, the power unit overheated before being deemed unusable at future events. "That one is gone," confirmed Szafnauer, shortly after the Australian Grand Prix. But the second replaced engine is now ready to be used once again, after being removed for "precautionary checks" following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Alpine say that the power unit tested "okay" and is now "back in the pool" for future races, should Alonso need it.

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