11 F1 drivers take third and final power unit of the season at Belgian GP

A total of 11 Formula 1 drivers will move on to their third and final power unit of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix, with some already bracing themselves for penalties.

11 F1 drivers take third and final power unit of the season at Belgian GP

With F1 entering a triple header that includes power tracks Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, the majority of teams have taken the opportunity to introduce fresh engines this time out.

Before this weekend, five drivers had already moved on to their third and final power units of the season – Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz Jr and George Russell.

For the Spa weekend, both Mercedes drivers, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, both McLarens, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, both AlphaTauris, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll have also made the switch.

It means only Ferrari customer teams Haas and Alfa Romeo are sticking with their second power units for the time being.

While a lot of teams are comfortable with the mileage on their engines and can get through the remainder of the campaign with the three power units in their pool, some drivers are facing up to the prospect of needing to use a fourth engine at some point. That would trigger an automatic grid penalty.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Of the front runners, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both lost their second power units as the result of accident damage, so they are bracing themselves for needing a grid penalty at some point.

Speaking ahead of the Belgian GP weekend, Verstappen said he was not sure when Red Bull would opt to bring the fourth engine in to play.

“I have no idea yet, because I just got a new engine,” said the Dutchman. “So we are looking where, if necessary, we will take a new engine. I can't say anything about that now. We don't know yet.”

Read Also:

The certainly of a grid penalty is also true for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with both he and teammate Carlos Sainz set to take their fourth engine when their team decides to introduce its planned upgraded power unit later in the campaign.

No date has been set for this, but team principal Mattia Binotto said recently he was upbeat about the plan, which will see the power unit brought in to play at some point after Monza.

“That will be for us a significant step for the end of the season,” he said.

shares
comments

Related video

Schumacher reveals Spa 1991 tribute helmet to his father
Previous article

Schumacher reveals Spa 1991 tribute helmet to his father

Next article

F1 Belgian GP: Bottas tops FP1 from Verstappen, Hamilton only 18th

F1 Belgian GP: Bottas tops FP1 from Verstappen, Hamilton only 18th
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022