Tom Hogan wrote in to ask:
I have been trying to get my head around the engine situation among the championship contenders. Sebastian Vettel’s Korean engine was on its third race, Mark Webber has (barely) used his last engine.
How many does Fernando Alonso have left as he blew a few in the beginning of the year?
On a personal note thank so much for all your work this year you have made following F1 in Australia far more enjoyable than ever.
First thing first: you can find an up-to-date list of how many new engines each driver has used on the statistics page here: New engines used.
Drivers can use up to eight engines in a season without a penalty. Once they use a ninth engine they get a ten-place penalty. All five championship contenders have used all eight of their new engines.
But, as Tom points out, Alonso hit the magic eight much earlier than the others:
|Driver||Round when first used eighth engine|
|Fernando Alonso||Monza (round 14)|
|Lewis Hamilton||Suzuka (16)|
|Jenson Button||Suzuka (16)|
|Sebastian Vettel||Suzuka (16)|
|Mark Webber||Korea (17)|
Remember that drivers can use their engines in any order and we don’t have a complete picture of who used which engine in which session (when asked for the data the FIA responded “This kind of information is confidential between each team and the FIA.”)
Therefore Alonso’s engine situation may not be that bad. Remember his engine that was replaced at Bahrain (along with Felipe Massa’s) was later used again in Shanghai. Alonso lost another engine at Malaysia.
Also keep in mind the following regulation ahead of the final race at Abu Dhabi next week:
If an engine is changed in accordance with Article 34.1 the engine which was replaced may not be used during any future qualifying session or race with the exception of the last Event of the Championship.
FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations Article 28.4 (e)
As for Sebastian Vettel, his Korean engine had also done race distances at Germany and Belgium (minus one lap) and the failure was traced to the con rod in the number four piston, according to Peter Windsor.
His Brazilian Grand Prix engine is the same one he used for the Monaco and Singapore Grands Prix – both circuits which do not stress engines too much (a lap of Singapore is 48% full throttle, Monaco 42%, Interlagos 63%).
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