Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested that rules about engine penalties need a rethink after almost half the drivers on the grid were penalised during the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Horner feels that F1 drivers should be allowed to use more engines per season than they’re currently allowed to avoid penalties ‘messing around with the grid.’
The current rules state that drivers are allowed four power units per season. The power unit itself is divided into six individual elements: internal combustion engines, turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K, energy store and control electronics, all of which can result in drivers dropping down the grid if they exceed the limit of four in a year.
The rules are there to try and keep costs down for each team by encouraging them not to recklessly blow through gear boxes, but Horner doesn’t think this is the case.
“It’s not saving the cost because the engines are going on a world tour anyway. They’re being used and you’re just incurring penalties as a result. Perhaps we need to get back to a more equitable balance.” Horner said, as per ESPN.
Red Bull felt the full force of the penalties on Sunday as both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo dropped down the grid, along with seven other drivers.
Teams using Honda and Renault engines, Red Bull using the latter, have been routinely hit with penalties during the second half of the season.
"It is hard enough for us to get our heads around, (let alone fans)," Horner added.
"Even going to the grid we were trying to work out if we were going to be 12th or 13th, because (Sergio) Perez had picked up a penalty but he had picked it up before or after somebody.
"It is too confusing. It needs a serious look at to see whether there is a better way of penalising a manufacturer or an entrant as opposed to messing around with the grid. It will only get worse and it will be a shame to see this championship decided on grid penalties."
Using financial penalties rather than grid penalties has been suggested, particularly with the limit of four engines set to drop to three next season, but this is likely to harm smaller teams far more than the larger ones.