Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will each take a 10 place grid penalty at Sunday’s United States Grand Prix after the team decided to introduce an all-new engine ahead of the race.
The decision to introduce a new engine for the US leg of the 2015 F1 season was always in place, Autosport says. The plan will allow the team to have fresh, competitive engines for the remaining four races of the year as it works to catch up to rival Mercedes with another new power unit for 2016.
Both Vettel and Raikkonen have already used up the allowed four engines so far this year, so taking the fifth engine will give them each a 10-place penalty. Vettel said taking the engine was “always the plan,” and the the grid penalty is “no surprise for us.”
“The story is that this was always the plan for us to have the strongest engine available at every single point of the season,” he said.
“I think our engine guys have done a massive job, so this should not be understood as a downside. If anything this is very positive.”
Creative Commons photo via Tecnica on Flickr!