Technical: Red Bull drivers set to use fresh engines in Barcelona

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Reigning world champion Max Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez will compete with multiple fresh power unit components at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó reports from Barcelona.

The current generation of F1 power units feature seven different elements: the internal combustion engine (ICE), motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), turbocharger, energy store (ES), control electronics (CE) and exhaust.

Over the course of the 2023 season, a driver may use no more than four ICEs, MGU-Hs, MGU-Ks and turbochargers, two energy stores and control electronics, and eight of each of the four elements that make up a set of exhaust systems.

Three drivers will race with a fresh internal combustion engine in Barcelona including the two Red Bull Racing drivers and McLaren’s Lando Norris. Proving the great reliability of the current Red Bull Powertrains-badged Honda engines, it is the first change for double world champion Max Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez, meaning that they completed the first six rounds with a single ICE. For Norris, it will be his fresh engines second engine with drivers allowed to use a total of four internal combustion engines during the 2023 F1 season.

The exact same trio will use a new turbocharger at Barcelona with Verstappen and Perez have only used a single unit so far. Of the permitted four turbochargers, it will be the second fresh one for the McLaren racer.

Verstappen, Perez and Norris will use a fresh motor generator unit – heat and a new motor generator unit – kincetic at Barcelona as well. It will be the second fresh MGU-H and MGU-K for the two Red Bull drivers and the second ones for the McLaren racer with drivers allowed to use a total of four MGU-K and MGU-H units across the season.

Home hero Fernando Alonso and American driver Logan Sargeant will start Round 8 of the 2023 F1 season with a fresh energy store. It will be the second new unit of the maximum permitted of two energy stores.

Alonso, Sargeant and Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg will race with a fresh control electronics at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with drivers allowed to use a maximum of two CE units.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri will use his fourth new exhaust system at the Spanish Grand Prix, meaning that he will still have four other new exhaust systems for the remainder of the season.

Drivers are also limited in the number of gearboxes for the 2023 F1 season. Restricted-number components are components that make up the gearbox, split between the gearbox case and cassette, and the gearbox driveline, gear change components and auxiliary components.

Drivers can use up to four gearbox cases and cassettes and four gearbox drivelines and auxiliary components. Drivers will earn a grid-drop penalty if they exceed the gearbox allocation. The first time the allocation of either of the components is exceeded, a five-place grid penalty will be dished out, with the same number applying for repeat offences.

Piastri, Norris, and the Alfa Romeo duo of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu will use a fresh gearbox case and cassette, driveline, gear change components and auxiliary components.