Alonso, Ricciardo hit with grid penalties in Austria

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Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo have both been hit with a grid penalty for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix following changes made to their power units ahead of practice in Spielberg.

Both McLaren and Red Bull have been struggling with their engines at the start of the 2015 Formula 1 season, leaving both teams no choice but to exceed the limit of four power units and components for the season after just seven rounds.

McLaren’s newly rekindled partnership with Honda has gotten off to a rough start in 2015 thanks to the lack of reliability offered by the Japanese manufacturer’s power units.

This forced Jenson Button into take a 15-place grid penalty in Canada, which turned into an in-race penalty after the engine problem prevented him from taking any part in qualifying.

Now, Alonso has been hit with a similar penalty, amounting to 20 places: ten for the internal combustion engine change (ICE), five for the turbocharger change and five for the MGU-H change.

“In accordance with Article 28.4 c) a 10 grid position penalty is imposed, as this is the first time a 5th power unit element has been used, and two further 5 grid position penalties are imposed for the TC and MGU-H as this is the first time a 5th of any of the remaining elements have been used,” a statement from the FIA stewards read.

Daniel Ricciardo is also set to take a ten-place grid drop after taking a fifth ICE, with the stewards confirming his penalty on Friday.

“A 5th ICE has been used by car 3, this is a breach of Article 28.4 a) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations,” a statement read. “In accordance with Article 28.4 c) a 10 grid position penalty is imposed, as this is the first time a 5th power unit element has been used.”

In Ricciardo’s case, it is possible that he will be able to fulfil the entirety of his penalty by qualifying inside the top ten on Saturday.

However, Alonso is guaranteed to also have some kind of in-race penalty, depending on where he qualifies. Even if he started on pole, he would receive a five second time penalty, but is likely to need to serve a stop/go during the race just as Button did in Canada.

Supercross: Enzo Lopes will race with ClubMX in 2024

Lopes ClubMX 2024
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Coming off his best Supercross season to date, Enzo Lopes has re-signed with Muc-Off / ClubMX Yamaha and will race for the team in 2024. The deal is for Supercross only.

Enzo Lopes won his heat race in Denver and finished fourth in the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

Lopes debuted in the Supercross series in 2019 on a Suzuki and scored his first top-10 finishes in his last two starts of that season. Showing consistent improvement, he earned six top-10s in eight Main events the following year and finished fifth in the 250 East standings. In 2022, he scored his first top-five at Daytona and finished in the top five in points again.

“I am happy to be returning to ClubMX for another season,” Lopes said in a press release. “It is like family to me there and that is very important. Although I had many options, staying where I am makes the most sense for many reasons. The bikes are great, the people are great, the tracks are amazing, and I am surrounded by people that care about me. We all want to win and together we will get there.”

While he improved his season-best performance by only one position this year, it was nevertheless a breakout season. Lopes barely missed the podium three times in 2023 with fourth-place finishes at San Diego, Seattle, and Denver.

His strong performance him rumored to be speaking with factory teams.

“We could see the growth from Enzo every time he gets on the bike,” said team owner Brandon Haas. “We all knew it was just a matter of time before he would be noticed by everyone, and we are proud of him on many levels. He had some heat race wins and qualified fastest at three events this season. It would be hard not to be noticed going that fast. He had a big decision to make and we are glad he chose to stay with us at ClubMX.”

Lopes had three podium finishes in heat races this year, including a win preceding his fourth-place finish in Denver.

Lopes will join Jeremy Martin, Phil Nicoletti and Garrett Marchbanks, who announced a two-year extension with the team in January, at the ClubMX team.