Alonso, Bottas, Russell and Vettel hit with grid penalties, Ferrari content with its PU upgrade

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Four drivers have been hit with grid penalties for the United States Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso, George Russell and Sebastian Vettel set for back of the grid start while Valtteri Bottas due to serve a five-place penalty.

Bottas has taken a new engine for the United States Grand Prix and will therefore take a grid penalty for this weekend's race at Circuit of The Americas. According the the Sporting Regulation, there is a limit of three engines for the entire season, and the Finn has taken now his his sixth internal combustion engine which has incurred a five-place grid penalty for Sunday's US GP.

Williams racer George Russell has taken his fourth ICE, fourth MGU-H, fourth turbocharger and fourth exhaust – meaning he will start the race from the back of the grid.

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel will also start from the back end of the grid on Sunday after taking his fourth ICE, fourth turbo, fifth exhaust, and fourth MGU-H of the season.

Ahead of the final practice at Austin, Alpine revealed that it installed a fourth internal combustion engine into Fernando Alonso’s car which will force the two-time world champion to start the race from the back of the grid. Beside the ICE, the Spaniard has also taken a new turbo, MGU-H, MGU-K, energy store and control electronics.

Elsewhere, positive news are coming from Ferrari with the Italian team satisfied with the new hybrid system that was introduced in the Russian Grand Prix. Engine manufacturers are restricted to one upgrade of each component per year, and with the Italian team using the 2020 hybrid system in the first part of the current F1 season, it was free to update this hardware. Charles Leclerc received the development in Sochi while his team mate Carlos Sainz got access to it two weeks ago in Istanbul.

Speaking ahead of the United States Grand Prix, Ferrari Head of Power Unit area Enrico Gualtieri provided details on the Maranello team’s upgraded engine: “So far we are quite happy with the feedbacks that we have had from the track. It has been quite a hard work and the credit goes to all the people that worked on this project. We changed the technology raising the level of voltage of the operating system of the energy storage, closed to double.

„Every single bit of the ERS system changed to be somehow suited to this new operating condition. And get the most out of the level of efficiency. Energy storage was changed a lot, but keeping the same chemistry of the previous version. The electric motors had to change a lot. We had a lot of redesign and together with them also the control electronics.

„It is quite a bit of an upgrade. This is why it is so important for us to be able to anticipate the introduction of the new system by quite a fair amount of races. Running on different conditions, on different tracks is really important to be sure that we are going to shape the car in 2022 accordingly,” Gualtieri concluded.