It's only the second race in Malaysia this weekend but some drivers are already going to be subject to the ten place grid demotion penalty for engine changes. Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Red Bull's David Coulthard, who both finished in Bahrain,...
It's only the second race in Malaysia this weekend but some drivers are already going to be subject to the ten place grid demotion penalty for engine changes. Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Red Bull's David Coulthard, who both finished in Bahrain, will have new units at Sepang.
Ferrari is reportedly concerned that Massa's engine will not stay the race distance and has opted to replace it as a precautionary measure despite incurring the penalty. The Brazilian doesn't believe that a fresh engine for this tough event compensates for losing grid places.
"I've never met a racing driver yet who wouldn't want to be as high up the grid as possible, old engine or not," he said. "Anyway, with all the changes to engine rules for this year, I don't think I'll be the only guy with an engine change penalty by the time the race starts on Sunday."
Coulthard's Ferrari-powered Red Bull gave up after he had taken the chequered flag in Bahrain. The rules state that "Any driver who failed to finish the race at the first of the two Events for reasons beyond the control of the team or driver, may start the second with a different engine without a penalty being incurred." Coulthard did actually finish before the engine failed.
"Clearly there was a drop-off in performance from the engine in the last few laps and it would have been nice to have known that and stopped the car before the chequered flag, which meant I wouldn't have got the penalty here in terms of the ten places, but because I crossed the line, tenth place, no points, I get a penalty," the Scot commented.
Juan Pablo Montoya, who complained in Bahrain that his Mercedes engine was down on power, is apparently still not happy with it. McLaren said the engines were fine and have not confirmed the rumour that Montoya may also have a change and get the penalty.