Vettel set for Austin pit lane start

By on Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel is set to start this weekend's United States Grand Prix from the pit lane as Red Bull considers changing his Renault Power Unit, leading to the prospect that he will sit out qualifying.

2014 regulations state that drivers will receive a 10 place grid penalty should they use a sixth version of any of the components which comprise the Power Units, but Vettel is likely to change every component in the Power Unit for a sixth time, effectively meaning he will race with an entirely new system.

But doing so means that drivers must start from the pit lane, leading to the probability that the 2013 race winner will sit out qualifying.

"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," he said at a sponsor event.

"Obviously we had quite a bad first half of the season in terms of reliability, a lot of things happening, which put us in that position.

"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 pit lane due to the regulations.

"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."

Vettel most recently started from the pit lane at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he recovered to finish in third place.

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