Ricciardo and Bottas gets five place grid penalties but our grand winner for the day is Alonso with a 30 place grid penalty!
A F1 car gearbox is supposed to last for six races and if it fails before that, the driver incurs a five place grid penalty. Hamilton received his penalty at the last race for changing the gearbox and it was the turn of his teammate Bottas and Ricciardo at the British Grand Prix. Both of them had their gear boxes changed before the 6 race limit. There are also other parts like turbos and MGU recovery units and many drivers are close to penalties for these parts as well like Driver’s Championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo though has it worse as his engine failed during the first part of qualifying relegating him to start at the back of the grid from the second last position. This made his five place grid penalty redundant. The Aussie is also tensed at the thought that the power unit he used will be lost and damaged beyond repair, thus resulting him in taking more penalties as the season progresses.
Alonso had many engine components changed resulting in his 30 place grid penalty. He took his sixth internal combustion engine, eighth turbocharger, eighth MGU-H and sixth MGU-K ahead of Free Practice 3 adding to 25 penalty places. McLaren had also installed a new ERS (Energy Recovery System) on Friday which added a five place penalty taking the total to 30.
A question that is circulating in the F1 world is should drivers be punished for the mechanical issues faced by them as they have no hand in them. It was more of an issue of the engineering department and instead of penalising the drivers the stewards could penalise the team. There are after all separate points for the both the driver and team and instead of spoiling the race of the drivers, the constructor’s points can be deducted for each penalty.
Driver penalties sure take the fun out of races especially due to mechanical faults. Liberty, the new owners of F1 should try to address this issue and bring about changes to the rule book keeping racing fun and interesting.
Too lazy to type anything, so re quoting from the best F1 driver in the world:
“On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”
― Ayrton Senna