Fernando Alonso will not be using a fourth engine at the Chinese Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver used his third engine at last week’s Malaysian Grand Prix when he retired from the race with engine failure.
Having already used two engines previously, some were concerned that Alonso would be halfway through his season’s allocation of eight engines in just four races. However Ferrari have confirmed that he will be using the engine used in Bahrain for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Each driver may only use 8 engines during the whole of the 19-race 2010 F1 season. If drivers are forced to use more than their allocated amount of engines they will suffer a grid place drop.
Alonso’s original engine was changed after qualifying in Bahrain due to over-heating issues and this engine can only be used for free practice sessions for the rest of the season. However the engine that completed the actual race can be used for both qualifying and racing and this is the engine that Alonso will use again in China.
Ferrari appear to be happy about using this engine because Shanghai is not a particularly strenuous circuit for engines and the temperatures seen in China are not likely to be high enough to really stress the engines.
“As a precaution, we chose not to use the Bahrain race engines in Australia – but they will be used in China having concluded that they are fit for purpose, despite what happened at the Sakhir circuit,” Ferrari’s engine and electronics chief Luca Marmorini explained.
“I would describe it [the Shanghai circuit] as a medium load. It features a very long straight, but nothing that causes any particular concern for the power unit. And also, the ambient temperature is not usually very high, which makes life easier on the engine front.”