As happened at the years Belgian GP a significant proportion of the drivers will be taking grid drops before even a car hits the track in anger on Friday. For the fans this is fantastic as a mixed up grid with faster cars starting behind slower ones makes for great viewing.Lewis Hamilton is one of those drivers now taking his 4th engine of the season.
Hamilton admitted in the drivers’ press conference it was in fact his fault he requires a new power train. Following him cutting Alonso up in Spa Lewis’ car was launched into the air following his collision with the Alpine causing a 45g vertical impact. Hamilton accepted it was his fault.
Lewis’ W13 in Belgium had his 3rd engine onboard. The impact means the power unit requires repairs which due to the triple header are to yet completed.
However, given most of the top teams and drivers are set to tactically use 4 power units this season, Monza with it’s fast straights and overtaking opportunities is a good place for Hamilton to introduce the 4th power unit into the pool.
Normally the penalty Lewis would suffer would be a back of the grid start. However, with so many other drivers believed to be talking new PU’s, if the Mercedes car runs well in Monza and qualifies top 6 Lewis could start as high as P13.
Other drivers believed to be taking new power units include Bottas, Perez, Schumacher, Sainz and Magnussen.
If all these drivers do take new power units, they all suffer a back of the grid penalty. So the order in which they qualify will determine who is really ‘back of the grid’.
Yuki Tsunoda picked up his 5th reprimand from the stewards for driving with ‘loosened’ seat belts which is an automatic 10 place grid drop under FIA regulations.
So as of Thursday evening, 7 drivers are taking grid drop penalties and with 4 track sessions before Sunday’s race, that number is likely to grow larger.
"I have Lando's face on my neck" 😂
Things we didn't expect to see today at Monza! 😅 pic.twitter.com/jIsIi3TyIW
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) September 8, 2022