Charles Pic is set to start the Korean Grand Prix
from the back of the field after Marussia confirmed that the Frenchman will take an engine change penalty in qualifying.
The team will change to Pic's ninth new engine of the year overnight which means he will now exceed the allowed limit of eight for the season.
As a result, the ten place penalty will come into play and is likely to drop Pic to last place on the grid, barring any issues elsewhere.
News of the engine change capped a mixed day for the Marussia team, with both Pic and Timo Glock
suffering steering isues that forced the team to revert to a steering rack used in Japan as a result.
“In FP1 this morning we completed the installation laps with both cars and Timo was uncomfortable with the steering,” team boss John Booth said. “We opted to revert to a specification of steering rack that we ran with in Japan and, as we hadn't planned to do much running in the first session anyway to allow the track to improve, we were hopeful that this wouldn't affect our programme too much. Once the change had been actioned, Timo got up to speed quite quickly.
“With Charles, we focused more on his acclimatisation to this new circuit and at the same time did some comparison work with the new floor following its debut in Japan. This afternoon, once Charles was a little more attuned to the circuit, he experienced the same lack of confidence with the steering and once again, we opted to trade running time for the opportunity to improve by reverting to the prior specification of steering rack. Again the change was beneficial. This seems to be an issue relating more to the characteristics of this specific circuit, as opposed to a 'problem'. Neither driver is fully happy with the balance, although we end FP2 feeling happier as a result of the changes made.
“It is also appropriate at this stage to say that we plan to fit a new engine to Charles' car this evening in the knowledge that, as his ninth engine of the season, we will incur a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday.”