Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are edging closer to receiving major grid penalties as both Hamilton and Verstappen have used major engine components.
In F1, drivers are meant to push the cars to the limit. However, there must be a limit on how much to push. To avoid the drivers pushing a lot and teams spending millions of dollars on new engines and their accessories, FIA has allocated engine components rules.
This allows every team, a set number of these major components throughout the year. If any team crosses the set limit, its car will have to face a grid penalty, meaning starting from the back.
Hamilton’s W13 was fitted with a new turbocharger and MG-H unit at French GP weekend. This was the final of the allotted three of Hamilton. He had used the allotted two earlier in the season. This means, if Hamilton once again puts a new MGU-H or turbocharger, he will be awarded a grid penalty.
On the other hand, Max Verstappen also fitted new engine components at the Hungarian GP. After a disastrous qualifying session where the Dutch couldn’t give a final run, Red Bull changed a few components on his car. Verstappen picked up a new Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), MGU-H, and MGU-K.
Eventually, the replaced parts will help him to win from P10, covering the disappointing qualifying session.
These were the last of his allotted three and the Dutchman will face a grid penalty if he replaces them once more.
Both Ferrari drivers, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have already suffered grid penalties due to overusing parts in the season. Leclerc suffered a grid penalty in Canada starting from the back of the grid in P19. Sainz also suffered a 10-place grid penalty in France.
It will be interesting to see when Hamilton and Verstappen receive their respective penalties. Teams generally choose tracks that are easier to overtake for penalties. Most likely, tracks like Monza, Spa, or Interlagos in Brazil.
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