Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel says he will need to be “smart” over where he opts to take grid penalties if, as expected, the reigning World Champion exceeds his allocation of power unit elements for the campaign.
Drivers are given five of each of the six elements for the duration of the season, with a 10-place grid penalty applied the first time a sixth element is used, followed by a five-place drop for the sixth of other elements.
Vettel is one of a host of drivers on the brink in Japan, having used five of three separate elements so far, but he is eager to limit the damage of any potential penalties by handpicking where fresh elements are installed.
“The rules are as they are but surely at some stage we have to take some penalties. Which penalties those will be is not entirely clear yet,” explained Vettel during Thursday’s press conference in the Suzuka paddock