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The 137 penalties highlight the engine problem in Formula One.

Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri took the most amount of damage. Three times, he was instructed to return to the rear of the grid or to the pit lane. In addition, the Japanese driver was penalised 10 spots for accumulating five reprimands, although he was exempt from serving the latter penalty since he had already been relegated to the rear of the grid in Italy. He was also handed ten positions for a gearbox change, which cost him five points.

The amount of times that Charles Leclerc had to accept grid drops also made it difficult for him to mount a push for the title of world champion. As a result of the significant reliability issues that Ferrari had in the middle of the season, the Monegasque driver was forced to start from the very back of the field twice (in Canada and Belgium), and he was penalised ten spots in Austin.

A grid penalty of five places was assessed to Carlos Sainz’s teammate once, and he was demoted to the rear of the grid twice (once in France and once in Italy) (Brazil). Both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, who drove for Alpine, were penalised with a trip to the rear of the grid twice as well as an additional five positions for their trouble.

Max Verstappen, who drives for Red Bull and is the reigning Formula One world champion, needed to do nothing more than start from the back of the grid in Belgium. However, owing to the high number of adjustments that were made in other places, he ended up finishing in 14th place. At addition, he was penalised five grid positions for the race in Monza.

A positive update for Mercedes

In spite of the fact that the grid used up 137 more engine pieces, there were drivers and even whole teams that avoided receiving penalties during the season. Williams was able to get by with their components for Nicholas Latifi and Alexander Albon, while Aston Martin was able to stay totally inside the quota with its two drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll.

Daniel Ricciardo was the only other driver who did not get an engine penalty decrease throughout the race. All of the aforementioned teams and individuals had the characteristic that Mercedes-Benz powered their cars. In spite of the fact that the German automobile manufacturer stayed within their arrangement with the consumers, the works team made one adjustment to each vehicle. While Lewis Hamilton was forced to start from the rear in Monza, George Russell was able to take his new unit directly from the pit lane in Singapore.

Problematic regions

If we look at the data of the several aspects for which teams were given penalties, we can see that the ICE was the one that gave them the most trouble. On this particular front, the only people who didn’t go over the limit were the five drivers who were able to complete the season without receiving any penalties. When it came to the turbocharger and the MGU-H, fourteen out of twenty drivers went above the limit. Bottas was the driver who went over it the most, using seven components instead of the allowed three.

Twelve drivers went beyond the MGU-K limit, which also caused the control electronics to be exceeded. And with regard to the energy storage, more over half (eleven out of twenty) were successful in managing their resources according to the permissible allotment.

Compliance was simplest to achieve with the exhaust, which could use any of the eight permitted components during the season. Only Charles Leclerc had a higher score than the others here. Other drivers, like Sebastian Vettel, were even far lower than the limit with three components used.

Gearbox rules

In the year 2022, the allotment was extended to include the gearbox as well. In the past, it had to go on for a certain number of races at a time (unless a driver withdrew), but today it can only continue on for a maximum of four units, which are then further broken down into outer and inner components throughout the whole year. There were seven drivers that went above the limit, and Mick Schumacher was the only one who did it twice for both gearbox sections.

Regarding the many components that make up an engine, Formula One will continue to use the same regulations and the same allocations for the 2023 season. However, in the event that a driver replaces both components of the gearbox at the same time, the total number of places that are deducted from the driver’s score will be consolidated into a single, five-place penalty.

However, the number of gearbox pieces permitted in 2023 is still unknown since the answer to this question depends on the number of races in the season.

Because China was dropped from the schedule, there are currently “only” 23 races, and the regulations provide for a total of four gearboxes for each driver to use during those races. If the entire season had been planned for 24 races, each driver would have been permitted to use a total of five gearboxes. The question of whether or not there will be a substitute race has not yet been answered.

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