Russell set for grid penalty after F1 engine change in US GP

Williams driver George Russell will take a new Mercedes Formula 1 engine from the start of the US Grand Prix weekend, Motorsport.com has learned.

The British driver will move to his fourth power unit of the 2021 season and is set to drop to the rear of the field from wherever he qualifies.

Russell entered the Austin weekend at the maximum season allocation limit for internal combustion engines, turbochargers, MGU-H, energy store and control electronics, which means the accrued penalties for taking a whole new Mercedes engine would leave him at the rear of the pack for Sunday's race at Austin.

The Williams team mechanics were working on fitting the new engine to his car on the Thursday evening ahead of the opening day of practice running in Texas.

The Mercedes engines have been hit by a series of reliability problems in 2021.

The works squad has already had to exceed the allocations permitted to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, with the new engine given to the latter at Monza developing a fault at the next race in Russia, where the Finn was forced to take another grid drop as the engine was taken back to Brixworth to be assessed.

Williams was also forced to give Nicholas Latifi a new engine in Russia as a result of the unit fitted to the Canadian's developing a pneumatic pressure problem – the same issue that led to Russell's retirement from the Styrian GP in June.

Another of Mercedes' other engine customers, Aston Martin, has also opted to fit a new engine to Sebastian Vettel's car for the Austin weekend.

The German driver said during the pre-event press conference at the Circuit of the America's track that he is expecting a "difficult weekend" as a result of his penalty, which will mean he joins Russell at the rear of the field.

After Daniel Ricciardo was given an engine change at the Turkish GP last time out, only his teammate Lando Norris and Aston's Lance Stroll are yet to take new power units of Mercedes' remaining customer supply.

McLaren has indicated ahead of the first practice session starting in Texas that Norris will not be taking a new engine this weekend.

Speaking during his own US GP pre-event press conference slot, Russell said: "There is a bit of Silverstone vibes within this circuit, but the bumps are probably going to be the key thing this year.

He added: "As they were in 2019, and how the subsidence has been over the last couple of years.

"It is going to make or break the weekend I think because it is going to be really tricky on all of the drivers and whoever adapts best to it is going to come out on top.."

shares
comments

Related video

Williams adds US driver Sargeant to academy ranks on long-term deal
Previous article

Williams adds US driver Sargeant to academy ranks on long-term deal

Next article

Bottas set for third F1 engine penalty in four races at US GP

Bottas set for third F1 engine penalty in four races at US GP
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021