Fernando Alonso has become the fourth driver to take a penalty at the United States Grand Prix, and the third to be relegated to the back of the grid.
Valtteri Bottas has a five-place grid penalty for a new internal combustion engine (ICE) but both Sebastian Vettel and George Russell were confirmed on Friday as starting from the back as a result of taking multiple power unit components.
While all three are Mercedes-powered cars, Alonso’s Alpine has also needed to take a complete new power unit that will see him join Vettel and Russell at the rear of the grid. Alonso stopped on track on the first lap of FP1 on Friday, with what the team described as “an operational issue experienced immediately after he left the garage,” but the Spaniard stated was a water system issue.
At this stage of the season the Friday power unit is an older engine that is replaced overnight for one with lower mileage, but Alpine confirmed: “All components of the power unit will be brand-new for qualifying and the race.”
Fernando will have a new engine for the rest of this weekend, following the installation of a 4th power unit taking him beyond the permitted season allocation.
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) October 23, 2021
As Alonso, Vettel and Russell all have the exact same penalty, their final starting order will still be determined by their qualifying results, with the highest qualifier starting 18th ahead of the next highest.