Fernando Alonso to be handed new engine for Australian GP as penalty loom nears

Fernando Alonso was forced to retire 15 laps early during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Alpine have confirmed the Spaniard will be using a new engine for the Australian GP.

The Alpine F1 team have shown a promising start to the new era of Formula One. The French outfit has claimed 4th place in the Constructors’ standings behind the big chunks Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes after the first two races of the season.

Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon enjoyed a wonderful on track duel during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. But the race was cut short for the Spaniard after retiring early due to an engine issue. Ocon went on to finish the race

Fernando has qualified in Q1 for both the races and finished on point in the season opener in Bahrain, finishing 9th. And Alpine have investigated the problems and will be fixing a brand new ICE on his car for the Australian GP on March 8-10.

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Fernando Alonso’s Alpine suffered a Water pump related issue in the Saudi Arabian GP

Otmar Szafnauer with Fernando Alonso
Otmar Szafnauer with Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso was forced to retire 15 laps early during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Laurent Rossi, General Manager of Alpine stated the issue was zeroed down to the water pump in his A522 during a meeting in their headquarters in Viry. The team confirmed that the Spaniard will be using a new engine for the Australian GP.

Rossi described the fault stating, “It’s not the engine but the water pump. This led to a lack of cooling and subsequently a cascade of events: the engine cooled less, the oil heated up, etc… creating more worries. Fernando was able to continue driving and the engine was running but in obviously not ideal conditions. We preferred to stop it. The water pump was faulty. We have identified the cause of the problem. I hope it will be corrected for Melbourne.”

He continued “The water pump eventually disintegrated and fell into the engine. If we had wanted to repair it, we would have had to break the seal. The engine is therefore lost to us. Even if his physical integrity is not directly affected, for us, it is one less engine.”

According to the regulations, each driver is allowed to use three internal combustion engines, MGU-Ks and turbochargers. Any further than that, which includes changing key components will incur grid penalties. And with the new budget caps, Fernando and Alpine must tread carefully.

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