Vettel avoids Belgian Grand Prix grid penalty
23 August 2014 – Sebastian Vettel will avoid a grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix after reverting to an older engine.
The Red Bull driver was forced to sit out Friday afternoon's second practice session at Spa-Francorchamps after his new Renault power unit was damaged by an ignition problem just 11 laps into his morning programme.
Vettel has stated that grid penalties are "inevitable" over the second half of the season, but Renault's Head of Track Operations, Rémi Taffin, says he will be spared in Belgium by reverting to the unit he used in Hungary.
"Basically we lost power from one of the cylinders and it was traced to the ignition," Taffin said of the issue.
"Unfortunately we had to revert to an old engine, but this is OK as the spare one was used in Budapest."
Although Taffin hopes the core components damaged by overheating can be retained for future races, he agreed that reigning World Champion Vettel is almost certain to take a grid drop over the final seven races.
"We can say from the next race onwards that we could have the potential [for a grid penalty], but it could be a bit strategic so it's difficult to predict," Taffin explained. "It's a 99 per cent chance that we will have a sixth one."