Stroll, Tsunoda given Mexican GP grid penalties

Date published: November 5 2021 - Jon Wilde

Yuki Tsunoda ahead of Lance Stroll during the Austrian GP. Red Bull Ring July 2021.

Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda will start the Mexican Grand Prix from the back of the grid after being issued with engine penalties.

The duo are the latest drivers to fall foul of the stringent power-unit regulations that have affected several of their rivals recently.

At the previous race, the United States Grand Prix, four drivers received engine penalties – Fernando Alonso, George Russell and Stroll’s Aston Martin team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, all had to start at the back, while Valtteri Bottas was forced to drop five places on the grid.

Now it is the turn in of Stroll and AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda, who are both taking their fourth new set of power-unit parts at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

FIA Formula 1 technical delegate Jo Bauer reported that both drivers have new ICEs, turbochargers, MGU-Hs, while Tsunoda is also having a fresh Honda MGU-K. Stroll is also taking new control electronics.

Stroll’s penalty will be another concern for Mercedes, who supply Aston Martin with their engines. A Mercedes driver has taken an engine penalty at each of the last four races – Bottas three times and Lewis Hamilton once.

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer said when speaking to Sky Sports F1 from the pit wall during FP1 that the engine penalties for Vettel and Stroll were a result of a recurring problem in the Mercedes engines throughout the season.

“I think the issues were discovered earlier on in the year and hopefully the root cause has been fixed now,” said Szafnauer. “But because of it, we did have to take an extra engine for each driver.”

 

Asked whether the new engines should be more reliable, he added: “They have done their best to solve that issue. They know what the root cause was and [it’s] really hard to know – they do dyno testing to make sure the new design is robust.

“But that kind of testing can only take you so far – running on the track is the ultimate test.

“Fingers crossed it’s all fixed and we won’t see a recurring issue for the rest of this year.”