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.

Sports imitates art with Tyler Bereman’s Red Bull Imagination course

Red Bull Imagination Bereman
Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool
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This past weekend riders took on the Red Bull Imagination, a one-of-a-kind event conceived by Tyler Bereman – an event that blended art, imagination, and sports.

In its third year, Red Bull Imagination opened to the public for the first-time, inviting fans to experience a more personal and creative side of the riders up close and personal.

As the event elevates its stature, the course gets tougher. The jumps get higher and the competition stouter. This year’s course took inspiration from a skatepark, honoring other adrenaline-laced pastimes and competitions.

“There’s a ton of inspiration from other action sports,” Bereman told Red Bull writer Eric Shirk as he geared up for the event.

MORE: Trystan Hart wins Red Bull Tennessee Knockout 

Bereman was the leading force in the creation of this event and the winner of its inaugural running. In 2022, Bereman had to settle for second with Axell Hodges claiming victory on the largest freeride course created uniquely for the Red Bull Imagination.

Unlike other courses, Bereman gave designer Jason Baker the liberty to create obstacles and jumps as he went. And this was one of the components that helped the course imitate art.

Baker’s background in track design comes from Supercross. In that sport, he had to follow strict guidelines and build the course to a specific length and distance. From the building of the course through the final event, Bereman’s philosophy was to give every person involved, from creators to riders, fans and beyond, the chance to express themselves.

He wanted the sport to bridge the valley between racing and art.

Tyler Bereman uses one of Red Bull Imagination’s unique jumps. Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Hodges scored a 98 on the course and edged Bereman by two points. Both riders used the vast variety of jumps to spend a maximum amount of time airborne. Hodges’s first run included nearly every available obstacle including a 180-foot jump before backflipping over the main road.

The riders were able to secure high point totals on their first runs. Then, the wind picked up ahead of Round 2. Christian Dresser and Guillem Navas were able to improve their scores on the second run by creating new lines on the course and displaying tricks that did not need the amount of hangtime as earlier runs. They were the only riders to improve from run one to run two.

With first and second secured with their early runs, Hodge and Bereman teamed up to use their time jointly to race parallel lines and create tandem hits. The two competitors met at the center of the course atop the Fasthouse feature and revved their engines in an embrace.

Julien Vanstippen rounded out the podium with a final score of 92; his run included a landing of a 130-foot super flip.