Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014: Romain Grosjean given ridiculous 20-place grid penalty for engine change even though there's only 20 cars

Grosjean will be given a time penalty as well as the grid penalty which has effectively ruined his grand prix weekend before qualifying has even started

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The Independent Online

Romain Grosjean has been handed a staggering 20-place grid penalty ahead of Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Under Formula One's complicated sanctions regarding the power unit, a sixth change of any one of the six components that comprise the system results in a penalty.

Going into the race at the Yas Marina circuit, Grosjean's Lotus has required a sixth change of the internal combustion engine, one of the two energy store units and the turbocharger.

That has resulted in the drop of 20 places, which naturally cannot be fully applied as there are only 20 cars on the grid, even if he were to remarkably qualify on pole.


Ordinarily such a penalty would carry over into the next race, but as Sunday's event is the final grand prix of the year, the rules dictate any further remaining places will now lead to a time penalty.

So should the Frenchman qualify in the top five, so incurring a 15-19 place grid drop, and with one to five places still to be taken up, he will also be handed a five-second time penalty.

If Grosjean qualifies sixth to 10th it will lead to a 10-second time penalty, whilst anywhere in the bottom 10 will result in a drive-through penalty.

Grosjean was informed of his punishment without yet driving his car this weekend as he sat out first practice due to Lotus running the rule over 18-year-old compatriot Esteban Ocon.