Date: 30th October 2014 at 8:30am
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It has always looked likely, Renault’s poor start to the season is set to catch up with Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel in America.

They always expected that new engine regulations for this season would come back to haunt them and although it is not confirmed yet, four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel has conceded that it could be time to take the penalty.

They had half expected it to come into affect in Russia, but the team have merely put off the inevitable.

As part of the switch from v8 aspirated engines, to v6 turbo hybrid power trains, the FIA set limits on the amount of power train components each driver was allowed to use throughout the season.

The power-train consists of six separate elements.

* The engine
* The motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K)
* The motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H)
* The energy store (ES)
* The turbocharger (TC)
* The control electronics (CE)

Drivers are allowed five of each component, with the teams allowed to mix and match each element.

But once a sixth component is required the driver will receive a penalty.

Penalties range from a from a five-place grid drop, a ten-place grid drop, or starting the race from the pit lane.

The penalties also roll over, so if a driver is handed a five-place grid slot but qualifies just two places from the back of the grid, then the remaining place penalty will occur at the next race.

In Italy Toro Rosso?s Daniil Kvyat became the first driver to suffer a penalty as he used a sixth Renault engine.

But whilst he was the first he certainly will not be the last as four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel fifth engine of the season is close to reaching the end of its life-span.

?It?s to be seen, we need to confirm, but yes we have to get an extra engine at some stage this year and it?s very, very likely for this weekend. Vettel told Sky Sports.

With the German expected to start from the pit-lane he may not even compete during Saturday’s qualifying.

?Practice we?ll definitely run and try to maximise the track time but more focus towards probably to the race because qualifying for us is maybe not that important if it comes to down to a Sunday where we start from the pitlane due to the regulations.?

?You can talk about obligations [to run in qualifying], but in the end we have to manage the situation with the engine. The rules are the same for everyone. Obviously it was our fault we had to be very greedy at the beginning of the season having a lot of issues in terms of reliability and not taking the engines to the end of their life, The situation is what it is. I?d love to change it, I?d love to say I can just qualify in a normal way and use every practice session to the maximum, but it doesn?t look that way. At this stage it?s not entirely clear, we?re still trying to make out how many miles we have to do as an absolute minimum to survive and of course we?d obviously like to do more. As I said, we?ll use practice, see where we are and go from there.?

 

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