F1 Power Units – number used so far

0

After the Monaco race review podcast and in the forum, there has been some discussion on the number of power unit components used by each driver to date.   It was pointed out on both the main page and forum that the FIA publish the number of units used on the Thursday before each race.  On this basis I have collected the data of the usage to date and will see if I can draw any conclusions from the way these have been used through the first six race of the year.

To recap, the Power Unit comprises of the following components:
– Internal Combustion Engine (ICE);
– Turbo Charger (TC);
– Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic (MGU-K);
– Motor Generator Unit – Heat (MGU-H);
– Control Electronics (CE);
– Energy Store (ES).

The 2014 Sporting Regulations state:

28.4 a) Unless he drives for more than one team (see 28.4(d) below), each driver may use no more than five power units during a Championship season.

b) For the purposes of this Article 28.4 the power unit will be deemed to comprise six separate elements, the engine (ICE), the motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), the motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), the energy store (ES), turbocharger (TC) and control electronics (CE). Each driver will therefore be permitted to use five of each of the above six components during a Championship season and any combination of them may be fitted to a car at any one time. 

c) Should a driver use more than five of any one of the elements a grid place penalty will be imposed upon him at the first Event during which each additional element is used. Penalties will be applied according to the following table and will be cumulative :

Replacement of a complete power unitThe driver concerned must start the race from the pit lane. 
The first time a 6th of any of the elements is usedTen grid place penalty
The first time a 6th of any of the remaining elements is usedFive grid place penalty
The first time a 7th of any of the elements is usedTen grid place penalty
The first time a 7th of any of the remaining elements is used, and so onFive grid place penalty

A power unit or any of the six components will be deemed to have been used once the car’s timing transponder has shown that it has left the pit lane.   If a grid place penalty is imposed, and the driver’s grid position is such that the full penalty cannot be applied, the remainder of the penalty will be applied at the driver’s next Event. However, no such remaining penalties will be carried forward for more than one Event. 

d) If a driver is replaced at any time during the Championship season his replacement will be deemed to be the original driver for the purposes of assessing power unit usage.

 e) After consultation with the relevant power unit supplier the FIA will attach seals to each of the relevant components within the power unit prior to them being used for the first time at an Event in order to ensure that no significant moving parts can be rebuilt or replaced.   Within two hours of the end of the post race parc fermé exhaust blanking plates (with one 10mm diameter inspection hole per cylinder) and further seals will be applied to all used power unit components in order to ensure that they cannot be run or dismantled between Events.   Upon request to the FIA these additional seals will be removed after the start of initial scrutineering at the next Event at which the power units are required. All such power units must remain within the team’s designated garage area when not fitted to a car and may not be started at any time during an Event other than when fitted to a car eligible to participate in the Event. 

f) If any of the FIA seals are damaged or removed from the relevant components within the power unit after they have been used for the first time those parts may not be used again unless they were removed under FIA supervision. 

g) If a power unit or any of the six components within it are changed in accordance with Article 34.2 the power unit components which were replaced may not be used again during any future qualifying session or race with the exception of the last Event of the Championship.

So far the usage of the ICE looks like this (note all these figures relate to the usage after the race – so reflect the FIA data published on the Thursday of the following event):

 Entrant / Driver  Car AustraliaMalaysiaBahrainChinaSpainMonaco
Sebastian VettelRed Bull112223
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull112223
Lewis HamiltonMercedes111222
Nico RosbergMercedes111222
Fernando AlonsoFerrari111222
Kimi RäikkönenFerrari111222
Romain GrosjeanLotus111222
Pastor MaldonadoLotus122333
Jenson ButtonMcLaren111222
Kevin MagnussenMcLaren111222
Nico HülkenbergForce India111222
Sergio PérezForce India111222
Adrian SutilSauber111233
Esteban GutiérrezSauber111222
Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso112222
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso112223
Felipe MassaWilliams111222
Valtteri BottasWilliams111222
Jules BianchiMarussia112222
Max ChiltonMarussia112222
Kamui KobayashiCaterham111222
Marcus EricssonCaterham111222

 

It looks like most planned for new engines for the long straight in China, however most of the Renault users and Marussia needed a fresh engine in Bahrain.  Only Grosjean and Caterham of the Renault users was able to wait until China, while Maldonado had to use his second ICE even earlier, and appears to be one ahead of the cycle.  Further problems for Red Bull, Sutil and Kvyat meant that they also needed a new ICE for Monaco.  I presume this wasn’t planned, as it is hardly a high  stress environment for engines, with no straight to speak of and about the lowest percentage of the lap at full throttle.

The TC use is as follows:

 Entrant / Driver  Car AustraliaMalaysiaBahrainChinaSpainMonaco
Sebastian VettelRed Bull111223
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull111223
Lewis HamiltonMercedes111222
Nico RosbergMercedes111222
Fernando AlonsoFerrari111222
Kimi RäikkönenFerrari112222
Romain GrosjeanLotus111222
Pastor MaldonadoLotus122333
Jenson ButtonMcLaren111222
Kevin MagnussenMcLaren111222
Nico HülkenbergForce India111222
Sergio PérezForce India111222
Adrian SutilSauber111233
Esteban GutiérrezSauber111222
Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso111222
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso111223
Felipe MassaWilliams111222
Valtteri BottasWilliams111222
Jules BianchiMarussia112222
Max ChiltonMarussia112222
Kamui KobayashiCaterham111222
Marcus EricssonCaterham111222

 

The Turbo usage maps directly with the ICE usage, but we may see some differences at the next race as there appeared to be a number of turbo failures during the Monaco race.  For both the ICE and TC, those drivers using three components this early in the season (less than a third of the way through) are in trouble.  Also both Renault and Ferrari were talking of bringing new ‘engines’ to the race this weekend.  Now while they may be able to change some components for reliability reasons  during the season, presumably this is only for those units which have yet to be used.  So if any of the current units are used later in the season they will be the old specification (less reliable) units.

The MGU-K usage is:

 Entrant / Driver  Car AustraliaMalaysiaBahrainChinaSpainMonaco
Sebastian VettelRed Bull112223
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull122223
Lewis HamiltonMercedes111222
Nico RosbergMercedes111222
Fernando AlonsoFerrari111233
Kimi RäikkönenFerrari111233
Romain GrosjeanLotus112222
Pastor MaldonadoLotus122333
Jenson ButtonMcLaren111222
Kevin MagnussenMcLaren111222
Nico HülkenbergForce India111222
Sergio PérezForce India111222
Adrian SutilSauber111233
Esteban GutiérrezSauber111233
Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso122222
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso122223
Felipe MassaWilliams111222
Valtteri BottasWilliams111222
Jules BianchiMarussia111233
Max ChiltonMarussia111233
Kamui KobayashiCaterham112222
Marcus EricssonCaterham112222

 

This is an area where Mercedes seem to have a significant advantage over the others, and where Ferrari have suffered particularly.  All Ferrari power unit users are on their third MGU-K along with half the Renault users.  This is another area where problems could occur.  Remember the grid penalties listed in the FIA regulations 28.4 c) are cumulative, so if a driver needs to use a sixth ICE, TC and MGU-K in one race he will get a twenty place grid penalty.

For the MGU-H the usage is:

 Entrant / Driver  Car AustraliaMalaysiaBahrainChinaSpainMonaco
Sebastian VettelRed Bull111223
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull111223
Lewis HamiltonMercedes111222
Nico RosbergMercedes111222
Fernando AlonsoFerrari111222
Kimi RäikkönenFerrari112233
Romain GrosjeanLotus111222
Pastor MaldonadoLotus122333
Jenson ButtonMcLaren111222
Kevin MagnussenMcLaren111222
Nico HülkenbergForce India111222
Sergio PérezForce India111222
Adrian SutilSauber111233
Esteban GutiérrezSauber111222
Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso111222
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso111223
Felipe MassaWilliams111222
Valtteri BottasWilliams111222
Jules BianchiMarussia112222
Max ChiltonMarussia112222
Kamui KobayashiCaterham111222
Marcus EricssonCaterham111222

 

This is a bit better overall than the MGU-K, in that Ferrari don’t have an issue with this component.  However the same Renault drivers have used a third component.

The CE is where things get really bad for some drivers:

 Entrant / Driver  Car AustraliaMalaysiaBahrainChinaSpainMonaco
Sebastian VettelRed Bull133334
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull111222
Lewis HamiltonMercedes111122
Nico RosbergMercedes111122
Fernando AlonsoFerrari111222
Kimi RäikkönenFerrari112222
Romain GrosjeanLotus111112
Pastor MaldonadoLotus222223
Jenson ButtonMcLaren111122
Kevin MagnussenMcLaren111122
Nico HülkenbergForce India111122
Sergio PérezForce India111122
Adrian SutilSauber112333
Esteban GutiérrezSauber222333
Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso111112
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso111112
Felipe MassaWilliams122222
Valtteri BottasWilliams111122
Jules BianchiMarussia222222
Max ChiltonMarussia222222
Kamui KobayashiCaterham244444
Marcus EricssonCaterham233333

 

This is the area where the first penalties are likely to be seen with both Vettel and Kobayashi having used four units already.  Also to note is that a lot of these seem to have been changed on failure rather than any planned replacement cycle.  Again the Mercedes powered teams seem to be on track to last out the season, with only Massa having to replace a unit at the second race.

Finally there is the ES usage:

 Entrant / Driver  Car AustraliaMalaysiaBahrainChinaSpainMonaco
Sebastian VettelRed Bull111122
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull111122
Lewis HamiltonMercedes111122
Nico RosbergMercedes111122
Fernando AlonsoFerrari111222
Kimi RäikkönenFerrari111222
Romain GrosjeanLotus111111
Pastor MaldonadoLotus222222
Jenson ButtonMcLaren111122
Kevin MagnussenMcLaren111122
Nico HülkenbergForce India111122
Sergio PérezForce India111122
Adrian SutilSauber112333
Esteban GutiérrezSauber111222
Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso111111
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso111111
Felipe MassaWilliams122222
Valtteri BottasWilliams111122
Jules BianchiMarussia111222
Max ChiltonMarussia111222
Kamui KobayashiCaterham233333
Marcus EricssonCaterham222222

 

This is the component with the most variation in how teams are choosing to use their available units.  While Grosjean and the Toro Rosso’s are still on their original Energy Store, both Sutil and Kobayashi are on their third.  Again, Massa is the only Mercedes driver to have needed a change out of sequence, whether the ES failure caused the CE to fail or the other way around is not clear but Massa has been the only Mercedes driver to have to change a component early.

So aside from Mercedes beating Renault and Ferrari on reliability as well as power, what else can we say?  Well at this rate penalties can be expected to start after the next couple of races, and continue pretty much from then until the end of the season.  The first to suffer are likely to be Renault drivers, followed after a few races by the Ferrari powered competitors.  Any Mercedes powered driver will be unlucky to take a grid penalty for using more than their allowance of power unit components.

An interesting question is what have teams actually paid for, is it for five power units per driver (in which case some teams will have to find some extra cash), or is it for a supply of power units for the season including pre and in-season testing (in which case Ferrari and Renault may well be significantly out of pocket come the end of the year).

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments