Eleven drivers to race with a fresh engine at Spa, Norris gets five-drop penalty

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Belgium, Circuit de Spa-Francorchampsbe

Eleven drivers will complete today’s Belgian Grand Prix, Round 12 of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship with a fresh internal combustion engine while Lando Norris will drop five places on the grid after McLaren was forced into a gearbox change following his qualifying crash.

Despite the planned 22-race calendar for 2021, drivers have a very limited number of engine components for the entire season. Should a driver exceed the limits, grid penalties will apply with the allocation being determined as follows: engines (ICE) (three per season), motor generator units-heat (MGU-H) (three), turbochargers (TC) (three), energy stores (ES) (two), control electronics (CE) (two), and motor generator units-kinetic (MGU-K) (three).

Spa is usually a place to enjoy the benefits of a fresh power unit just as in Monza given the power sensitivity of the two historic tracks. As a result of it, eleven drivers will race today with a fresh internal combustion engine: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc, Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly and Nicholas Latifi.

Of these drivers, Leclerc and Perez might have carried on to use their second ICE this weekend, but they both lost it in two separate incidents at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix induced by Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll, who both misjudged the braking points into Turn 1 at the Hungaroring.

Number of power unit elements used during this season so far:

The changes all mean that all these drivers are on their third ICE, joining the group of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz and George Russell, who have already started to use their third and final engine allowed by the Sporting Regulation for the 2021 F1 season.

With 10 races to go after today’s Belgian Grand Prix, there are already several drivers on the verge of grid penalties for exceeding their allocation with the two Ferrari and Red Bull drivers, Russell, Ocon and Vettel being in the biggest danger.

As for the turbocharger, Hamilton, Bottas, Perez, Ricciardo, Norris, Stroll, Alonso, Leclerc, Gasly and Latifi received fresh unit for the first race after the summer break.

Hamilton, Bottas, Perez, Ricciardo, Norris, Stroll, Leclerc, Gasly and Latifi will race today with a new motor generator unit-heat. Hamilton, Bottas, Perez, Norris, Vettel, Alonso and Tsunoda will use today a fresh motor generator unit-kinetic.

Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher have received a fresh control electronics for this event with Verstappen, Alonso, Leclerc, Sainz, Räikkönen, Giovinazzi and Schumacher using a new energy store at Spa.

14 drivers have received a new exhaust system for Round 12 of the 2021 F1 season with Hamilton, Bottas, Perez, Ricciardo, Norris, Stroll, Alonso, Leclerc, Tsunoda, Gasly, Latifi, Ocon, Räikkönen and Giovinazzi forming this group. Of these drivers, the two Alpine drivers are in threat with Alonso having already used five and Ocon seven exhaust systems prior to this race with only eight units permitted for 2021.

As far as the gearboxes are concerned, four drivers will race with a fresh unit today at Spa. Leclerc did not finish the race at Budapest after a huge misjudgement of Lance Stroll, which allowed Ferrari to change the gearbox in the Monegasque’s car. In fact, the 23-year-old would have been permitted to use a fresh gearbox anyway as he raced with the previous unit for six consecutive events.

Perez will also compete today with a fresh gearbox as he was eliminated from the action at Budapest by an overambitious manoeuvre of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

As Haas replaced his gearbox for a spare unit at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Mick Schumacher was allowed to use a fresh unit at Spa.

McLaren changed the gearbox in Lando Norris’c MCL35M for the Belgian Grand Prix as he was forced into retirement in the first corner pile-up triggered by Bottas. However, the Woking-based team was forced to change the gearbox in his car again following his high-speed crash in qualifying on Saturday. The second change means that Norris will take a five-place grid penalty for today's Belgian Grand Prix.