(Motorsport-Total.com) – Drivers have been sent to the end of the starting grid or into the pit lane 20 times during the 2022 Formula 1 season, the remaining engine penalties this year. This means that on average each driver replaced so many engine parts – or so late – that a simple transfer penalty was no longer enough.
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For Valtteri Bottas, the race has ended prematurely more than once
Additionally, there were 135 other penalty positions spread across the field due to individual engine quota violations (at the 2022 Engine Preview).
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, who was penalized three times at the back or in the pit lane, was the hardest hit. Moreover, the Japanese had five positions for a gearbox change and ten positions to pick up five cautions, although he didn’t have to serve the latter as he was already pushed deep in Italy.
Charles Leclerc’s world title hunt was not easy either. Due to Ferrari’s serious reliability problems in the middle of the season, the Monegasque had to start from the back twice (Canada and Belgium) and once suffered a ten-position penalty in Austin.
His teammate Carlos Sainz is also behind the grid twice (in France and Italy) and five positions once (in Brazil).
And the two Alpine riders Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon were each moved twice to the back of the pack and were penalized five positions. Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was officially moved down once, but finished two more races at +20 and +15 positions – pretty close to the bottom of the pack.
Mick Schumacher (Haas) was once placed at the back of the field in Belgium and secured another 15 positions at Monza.
Mercedes customers with strong balance sheets
Despite the total of 36 penalties for 137 overused engine components, there were also drivers and even entire teams that went through the season unscathed. Aston Martin remained completely in the contingent with its two drivers, so Sebastian Vettel was never shot down, and Williams also got along with its elements with Nicholas Latifi and Alexander Albon.
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The only pilot who never otherwise transferred was Daniel Ricciardo, who also went unpunished. Striking: With Aston Martin, Williams and McLaren, there were only drivers with a Mercedes engine. With Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, however, the factory team had to accept a big transfer each: Hamilton started at the back in Monza, Russell in Singapore from the pit lane.
World champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull) only had to finish at the end of the starting grid in Belgium, which meant only 14th place there due to the large number of penalties, and received five positions penalty at Monza.
The engine as the main driver of penalties
Looking at the stats for each element, the teams had the hardest time saving the engine because apart from the five drivers who got away with no penalties, all of the drivers went over the limit. With turbo and MGU-H, 14 out of 20 riders exceeded the limit – most often Bottas, who used seven items with three allowed.
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The MGU-K was over the limit with twelve drivers, as was the control electronics. And in terms of energy storage, more than half (eleven out of 20) are content with the authorized allocation.
The simplest was respecting the exhaust, eight elements of which were allowed to be used during the season. Only Charles Leclerc exceeded the limit here. Other riders like Sebastian Vettel were even well below the limit with three elements used.
Gearbox also limited since 2022
Since 2022, the gearbox also has a quota. Previously, it had to run a certain number of races in a row (unless a driver retired), so it was split into exterior and interior elements and limited to four units each. Seven drivers exceeded the limit, with Mick Schumacher being the only driver to complete both parts of the drivetrain twice.
For the 2023 Formula 1 season, the same rules and quotas will apply when it comes to engine parts. Only exception: if a driver swaps the two transmission parts at the same time, the sum of the penalties will no longer be added, but rather accumulated as a penalty of five positions currently.
However, it is still unclear how many transmission items will be allowed. It depends on the number of races in the season. Of the 24 races actually planned for the season, each driver should use five gearboxes, due to the absence of China there are currently “only” 23 races, for which four gearboxes are planned in the regulation. Whether there will be a replacement race is still open.
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