The FIA issued their customary report showing the Power Unit elements used to date today (the Thursday prior to the British Grand Prix). This is shown below:
This shows that it was primarily the Renault powered drivers who used new elements last time out, with the new Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic (MGU-K) being available finally from the French manufacturer, the works team drivers and Stoffel Vandoorne took the opportunity to fit their second and final allowable unit for the year. Red Bull had already needed to use two of these components for each of their drivers, and with the team being competitive here, they elected to stick with what they had rather than take grid penalties. The decision to fit a new MGU-K to Fernando Alonso’s car was taken later, and prompted his start from the pit lane due to the penalties imposed.
Carlos Sainz also fitted his third and final allowed Turbo Charger (TC) for the last race, while both Renault and both McLaren drivers fitted their second and final allowed Energy Store (ES). Fernando Alonso fitted his second and final Control Electronics (CE). All these parts except Alonso’s penalty inducing MGU-K were fitted prior to Free Practice 1 starting.
Brendon Hartley needed a new Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), Turbo Charger (TC), Motor Generator Unit – Heat (MGU-H) and Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic (MGU-K) fitted in parc ferme. As he would be starting from the back of the grid anyway, it is possible that some of these elements were fitted to increase the pool of PU elements available to him for the remainder of the season.
At some point in the next two races (Silverstone or Hockenheim), Daniel Ricciardo is due to take a penalty for a new PU. This is to avoid the need for a penalty at the following race in Hungary (where the power disadvantage Red Bull feel they have will not be so severe). With Red Bull normally scoring well at Silverstone, they are planning the change in Germany, but this is reliability dependent.
The other team with some concerns is Mercedes, with AUTOSPORT reporting that the unplanned shut down of both cars following their retirements last time out, may have potentially caused some damage that they won’t know about until the cars run again this weekend. Since the introduction of this set of power unit regulations, Mercedes have had the best reliability, but that means they are also the least experienced manufacturer when it comes to unplanned shutdown of their power units, and the effects that is likely to have. With Ricciardo now looking to be out of the drivers’ championship, it is now a two horse race, and with just a point between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton hopefully neither will have any grid penalties that influence the outcome of the title.