Eleven F1 drivers take final engines of 2021 at Belgian GP

A total of 11 Formula 1 drivers will move on to their third and final power unit of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix, with some already bracing themselves for penalties.

Eleven F1 drivers take final engines of 2021 at Belgian GP

With F1 entering a triple-header that includes power tracks Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, the majority of teams have taken the opportunity to introduce fresh engines this time out.

Before this weekend, five drivers had already moved on to their third and final power units of the season: Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz and George Russell.

For the Spa weekend, both Mercedes drivers, Red Bull's Sergio Perez, both McLarens, Alpine's Fernando Alonso, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, Aston's Lance Stroll, both AlphaTauris and Williams' Nicholas Latifi have also made the switch.

It means only Ferrari customer teams Haas and Alfa Romeo are sticking with their second power units for the time being.

While a lot of teams are comfortable with the mileage on their engines and can get through the remainder of the campaign with the three power units in their pool, some drivers are facing up to the prospect of needing to use a fourth engine at some point. That would trigger an automatic grid penalty.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Of the frontrunners, Red Bull's Verstappen and Perez both lost their second power units as the result of accident damage, so they are bracing themselves for needing a grid penalty at some point.

Speaking ahead of the Belgian GP weekend, Verstappen said he was not sure when Red Bull would opt to bring the fourth engine in to play.

"I have no idea yet, because I just got a new engine," said the Dutchman. "So we are looking where, if necessary, we will take a new engine. I can't say anything about that now. We don't know yet."

The certainly of a grid penalty is also true for Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, with both he and teammate Carlos Sainz set to take their fourth engine when their team decides to introduce its planned upgraded power unit later in the campaign.

No date has been set for this, but team principal Mattia Binotto said recently he was upbeat about the plan, which will see the power unit brought in to play at some point after Monza.

"That will be for us a significant step for the end of the season," he said.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Schumacher reveals Spa 1991 tribute helmet to his father

Previous article

Schumacher reveals Spa 1991 tribute helmet to his father

Next article

Belgian GP: Bottas leads Verstappen in rain-affected FP1

Belgian GP: Bottas leads Verstappen in rain-affected FP1
Load comments
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021