Red Bull were able to make penalty-free changes to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez's cars ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, despite being in parc ferme conditions.
Following Verstappen's power loss in qualifying, and Perez's compromised session, both drivers have taken on a new engine, turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K and exhaust system.
With strict parc ferme conditions in place, it begged the question: why were Red Bull able to make the changes without triggering penalties?
Red Bull's changes all within their allocations
First up, Article 28.2 of the 2022 Formula One Sporting Regulations – which sets out power unit usage per driver, per season – needs to be considered.
Put simply, each driver is allowed to use three engines, three MGU-Hs, three MGU-Ks, three turbochargers, two energy stores, two control electronics and eight exhaust systems per season without incurring penalties.
The first time an additional element is used, a 10-place grid drop penalty is applied. The next time time an additional element is used, a five-place grid drop penalty is applied.
Verstappen and Perez's new elements are all within their allocations, although they are now on the brink of penalties, with three engines, MGU-Hs and MGU-Ks used so far.
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The rules regarding parc ferme conditions
As such, following a written request from Red Bull, FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer approved the changes in accordance with Article 40.3 of the Sporting Regulations (covering permitted work under parc ferme conditions).
Beyond an extensive list of work that can be carried out in parc ferme, any additional procedures "may only be undertaken with the approval of the Technical Delegate following a written request from the competitor concerned".
"It must be clear that any replacement part a competitor wishes to fit is the same in design and similar in mass, inertia and function to the original," adds the article.
With engine allowances in check and parc ferme regulations respected, Verstappen and Perez therefore keep their P10 and P11 grid slots.
AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly has also taken on a host of new power unit elements, but all of these exceeded his allocation for the campaign.
The changes were made without Bauer's approval and, with both Article 28.2 and Article 40.3 breached, he is forced to start from the pit lane.
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