ABU DHABI – Romain Grosjean has been hit with a 20-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after Lotus made multiple changes to his engine for the race weekend.
Towards the end of the season, a number of drivers have fallen foul of the strict engine penalties for changing elements of the power unit. In Austin, Sebastian Vettel opted to start with the pit lane due to his changes, whilst the likes of Daniil Kvyat and Pastor Maldonado have also been hit with penalties this season.
The race stewards in Abu Dhabi confirmed on Friday that they would be giving Grosjean the penalty after Lotus changed three parts of the power unit: the internal combustion engine, the MGU-H and the turbocharger.
20 places may seem harsh, but this is the total of three penalties, with a ten-place penalty for the ICE being added to five each for the MGU-H and the turbocharger.
“The sixth ICE, TC and MGU-H has been used by car #8,” a statement from the stewards reads. “This is in breach of article 28.4a of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.
“A 20 grid position penalty is imposed in accordance with article 28.4c, as this is the first time a sixth power unit element has been used.”
Given that this is the last race of the year, Grosjean is unable to carry any additional parts of the engine penalty over to the next grand prix. As a result, he will receive either a time penalty or a stop/go penalty depending on how well he qualifies on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.