Charles Leclerc handed good news as FIA announces rule change

Each driver will be able to use four internal combustion engines, MGU-Ks, MGU-Hs, and turbos without receiving a grid penalty.

After an agreement was reached by Formula 1 and the FIA, it has been announced that each driver will have an additional number of power unit elements for the remainder of the 2023 season.

The initial power unit regulations saw each driver allowed to use up to three internal combustion engines, MGU-Ks, MGU-Hs, and three turbos during the season; however, the legal number of each has since been increased to four.

Whilst these have been increased, the legal number of control electronics and energy store remains at two, meaning Charles Leclerc remains at threat of another grid penalty later in the year.

Leclerc is already on his third set of control electronics, after his first two sets failed at the season-opener in Bahrain.

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Following the announcement, less engine-based grid penalties should be awarded this season, something which has been called for.

The agreement was announced on Tuesday at the latest F1 Commission, where it was also confirmed that the allocated time to complete the grid procedure would be increased from 40 to 50 minutes.

It has also been added to the sport’s regulations that nothing can be in contact with a car whilst they are serving a stop/go penalty, following the controversy that was caused in Saudi Arabia.

Fernando Alonso was initially awarded a five-second time penalty after the race for having not properly served a five-second time penalty at his first pit-stop, due to a the rear jack having been touching the car.

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However, the additional penalty was later revoked after Aston Martin argued that the jack wasn’t ‘working’ on the car.

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The changing of the wording means such a situation won’t occur again, given that nothing can be in contact with the car during a stop/go penalty.

The new sprint format was also approved on Tuesday, meaning two qualifying sessions will take place this weekend at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Friday will see FP1 and qualifying to determine the grid for the race, Saturday will see a shortened qualifying session to determine the grid for the sprint, followed by the sprint race itself, whilst Sunday will remain the same.