Vettel backs Ferrari's decision on engine change

Sebastian Vettel has backed Ferrari's decision to introduce new engines at the United States Grand Prix, despite the downside of grid penalties.

Ferrari has elected to bring into play a fifth engine for the Austin weekend, which means both its drivers will get 10-place grid penalties.

Although the engines feature some updates, it is understood that Ferrari has not gone as far as introducing a new narrower block specification as had been considered.

But despite bracing himself for a tough Sunday, Vettel believes that the grid place hit for this weekend will be worth it for the increased performance that will come from having fresh engines for the final part of the campaign.

"We will have the hit of 10-place penalty for a new engine at this event," said Vettel. "But it has always been the plan, it is not a big secret. No surprise for us.

"To explain to you the story, it was always the plan for us, to have the strongest engine available at every single point in the season, and I think our engine guys have done a massive job.

"So this should not be understood as a downside. If anything this is a very positive sign because we have been pushing very hard and the guys managed to make big steps in terms of performance."

Planned change

Although there had been uncertainty over the specification of engine used, Vettel made it clear that Austin was viewed as the best opportunity to change power units.

"Obviously if you look at just this race, isolated, for sure it's not great news," he said. "But then you have to look at the whole project, the whole season, and it was always the plan to have a fresh engine until the end of the season here.

"As I said the priority was always to have maximum power at every single race, and that has been our plan.

"It has worked very well so far. Obviously we have to take the hit here, but as I said you should see the positive, the fact that we were able to make big steps."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event United States GP
Track Circuit of the Americas
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news