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Technical: How many new power unit components have drivers used so far in 2024?

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By Balazs Szabo on

Surprisingly, Max Verstappen has already used multiple new power unit components so far this season, indicating that Red Bull suffer from a few smaller reliability issues. F1Technical’s senior writer Balázs Szabó takes a look at how many power unit components drivers have used so far in the 2024 F1 season.

For the 11th year running, the 2024 F1 cars are powered by V6 hybrid turbo power units with 1.6-litre engines. This season represents the penultimate year the current engine configuration appears before being replaced by a new power unit formula in 2026.

Current F1 power units feature seven elements: the internal combustion engine (ICE), motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), turbocharger, energy store (ES), control electronics (CE) and exhaust.

Over the course of the 2024 season, a driver may use no more than four ICEs, MGU-Hs, MGU-Ks and turbochargers, two energy stores and control electronics, and eight of each of the four elements that make up a set of exhaust systems (comprising primaries left-hand side, primaries right-hand side, secondary LHS and secondary RHS).

Following technical issues on the opening day of the Bahrain Grand Prix, McLaren elected to equip the MCL38 of Lando Norris with a fresh energy store and control electronics. The change has put Norris on the verge of sporting penalties as he has no more new ES and CE for the remainder of the season.

In Saudi Arabia, the only driver to have received fresh power unit components was Alexander Albon, who completed the Jeddah race weekend with a new energy store and control electronics.

On the first day of the Australian Grand Prix, it was announced that Williams equipped Logan Sargeant’s car with a new energy store and control electronics while Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda received a new exhaust system.

On the second day of the Melbourne round, the reigning champion took a raft of new components including a fresh internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K and exhaust system. It meant that Verstappen started to use his third exhaust system.
Following his heavy shunt in the opening practice, Williams equipped with a new ICE, TC, MGU-H, MGU-K and EX.

Drivers are also limited in terms of how many restricted-number components (RNCs) they can use during a season. RNCs are components that make up the gearbox, split between the gearbox case and cassette, and the gearbox driveline, gear change components and auxiliary components.

As with their power units, drivers have a ‘pool’ of four gearboxes that can be swapped around during the season. Only when a driver exceeds their allocation of either of the above gearbox components do they receive a grid penalty.

Despite the severe restrictions regarding the gearbox allocations, several drivers completed the second round of the season with a fresh gearbox case and internals. The Kick Sauber of Zhou Guanyu, the Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz were all equipped with fresh units in Jeddah which means that they only have two new units for the rest of the season.

In Australia, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, Williams racer Alexander Albon and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen took a new gearbox case and internals.


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