Sebastian Vettel will start the United States Grand Prix on Sunday from the pit lane after stewards confirmed that the Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver had taken a completely new power unit at Austin.
The four-time World Drivers’ Championship will have a brand new Renault engine, new turbo, new MGU-K, new MGU-H, new energy store and new control electronics for this weekend, all of which are his sixth of the season, which exceeds the maximum five that any driver can use during the year.
Red Bull had informed the FIA that they intended to change all of the components of the power unit earlier in the week, but it has now been confirmed.
Despite the penalty necessitating Vettel will start the race from the pit lane, his team boss Christian Horner has hinted the German may participate during some part of Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.
Vettel, who won the race at Austin twelve months ago, has already condemned the regulations regarding the engines, and felt the prospect of him sitting out qualifying would be bad for the fans at the circuit.
“I didn’t make the rules,” said Vettel ahead of the US Grand Prix. “When you have to start form the pitlane, no matter what you do in qualifying, it doesn’t change anything.
“It’s a rule that is the same for everyone. But for the people come to watch the cars, to watch qualifying, it’s a very bad rule.”
Vettel’s participation in free practice two in Austin was delayed after the team were also forced to change the gearbox upon his Red Bull Racing machine.