Grid penalties for new car components to be a thing of past after Monza’s near farce

first_img Twitter Share on Facebook Grid penalties set for axeLong bemoaned by fans, the application of grid penalties for replacing power unit components and gearboxes reached almost farcical levels at Monza. Nine drivers took penalties accruing 150 places and changing the qualifying results to such an extent that Lewis Hamilton on pole and Romain Grosjean, who crashed in the first session, were the only drivers to have retained their original positions. Such was the scale of the movement, Kevin Magnussen, who was knocked out in Q1, found himself in the top 10.The fans at Monza sat through a rain-delayed qualifying and were rewarded with a thrilling finale but bar Hamilton, what they witnessed bore little resemblance to the grid that formed. Formula 1’s motorsports director, Ross Brawn, is known to oppose the system, which was instigated as a cost-cutting measure, and the FIA president, Jean Todt, was moved to suggest he would accept proposals. “If we can make the situation better, we will do it,” he said. “We are open to suggestions and we will have a meeting.” It is understood this is one meeting that will happen in the near future and that grid penalties will be a thing of the past soon. Share on LinkedIn Formula One 2017 Daniel Ricciardo Share via Email Share on Pinterest Reuse this content Sportblog Lewis Hamilton out to push harder after seizing the initiative in F1 title battle Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Two further retirements at Monza was the embarrassing upshot from McLaren but behind the scenes there were a spate of meetings as the team, the sport’s owner, Toro Rosso, Renault and Honda sought to find a solution to their predicament. “Once again, we were left dejected and dissatisfied,” the team’s racing director, Éric Boullier, said.The divorce with Honda looks inevitable, with the executive director, Zak Brown, insisting the team’s first priority was sporting success, overriding any commercial benefit they gain from using Honda engines. Boullier has said a decision must be made before Singapore. Brawn has also been involved as the Formula One Group are eager that Honda remain in F1. He said they were looking for “a solution to keeping Honda in the sport and giving McLaren more opportunity.” Brown noted that there was an “ideal scenario” where “everyone is smiling at the end”. Something that has been in short supply in recent years at the team. Read more McLaren Ferrari are in a dogfightThe Scuderia’s president, Sergio Marchionne, was scathing abut his team’s performance after Sebastian Vettel finished 36 seconds behind Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix. Marchionne said they had “screwed up” between Spa and Monza and failed to use the correct set-up. There was disappointment clearly but Vettel remained upbeat. “You could say it was a bad day but I know there is a lot of stuff that is going to improve,” he said. Yet he had been slower than Mercedes by almost half a second a lap before he had a steering problem.Monza was expected to be Mercedes-friendly but not to such an extent. The team are still due to bring in an engine upgrade and it has to be hoped to continue what has been a fascinating fight for the title that Marchionne’s optimism from Saturday rather than Sunday’s gloom proves to be correct. “The rest of the season, this race excepted, appears to be more favourable to the characteristics of our car,” he said. “If that is true it is going to be an interesting dogfight between ourselves and Mercedes to the end. It will be a great season, the stuff F1 should be made of as a sport.” Let’s hope so.Ricciardo does it again Lewis Hamilton embraces ‘villain’ tag after taking lead in F1 title race comment Topics Daniel Ricciardo is fourth in the drivers’ standings. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images Motor sport Since you’re here… Ferrari Support The Guardian Share on Twitter Formula One Facebook Pinterest Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has been outqualified by his team-mate Max Verstappen nine to four this season but on race day the Honey Badger has unquestionably been on top. His racecraft, always one of the Australian’s greatest strengths, was once again to the fore at Monza. He drove an exemplary race, from 16th to fourth. On the way he pulled off some inch-perfect passing moves – particularly on Sergio Pérez, and his dive up the inside of Kimi Raikkonen was glorious. He did it all with the obvious pleasure that makes him so enjoyable to watch. “I like them vulnerable,” he said as he closed in on Felipe Massa. Ricciardo is fourth in the world championship, has one win and six podium places in a car that is off the pace this season. The Red Bull will have a new engine for Singapore, where they will expect to be far more competitive than at Monza. Certainly Ricciardo is confident. “I think we’ll lap the field in Singapore, so looking forward to that,” he quipped.Hamilton has momentumLewis Hamilton may have been booed by the Italian fans but he took it well, knowing he is on a roll. He is the first driver to take consecutive wins this year and has won three of the last four grands prix. He was disappointed with fourth in Hungary but is energised by how strongly his Mercedes team have come back – and doubly so with their advantage at Monza.They had a 5mph lead through the speed traps at Spa but had compromised their set-up and were unable to exploit it. They addressed the problem before the Italian Grand Prix and solved it – their strength at the Autodromo Nazionale was unexpected, even to the team’s executive director, Toto Wolff.Vettel, too, drove well with a car that could not match Mercedes and his post-race positivity was very welcome, but it is Hamilton who leaves on a high. He is very much a driver who feeds on success and after the race and his recent run his obvious pleasure was reflected in his confidence and high expectations of the run-in. He has his nose in front for the first time and should he keep it there after Singapore he will know he is firmly on the front foot for the title.Crunch decision for McLaren Read more Lewis Hamiltonlast_img

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