Sebastian Vettel will definitely start from the pit lane at the United States Grand Prix after Red Bull completely changed his power unit.

The team had said on numerous occasions that a new power unit was likely to be required in Austin, with Vettel saying on Wednesday that a pit lane start was "very likely". The stewards have now confirmed that a "6th complete power unit has been used" and as a result Vettel will not be able to line up on the grid.

With the penalty imposed already, any attempts to qualify are rendered obsolete for Vettel, who may opt to sit out qualifying to save mileage.

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While admitting that not qualifying would be "a real shame", Vettel said before the penalty was announced that it would make no sense to do so.

"Even if you qualify on pole you have to start from the pit lane," Vettel said. "So that's why instead of burning mileage in qualifying which you may then regret later on in Brazil or Abu Dhabi, where we might not see the finish line, that would be a lot more costly than deciding here not to qualify."


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107SS2009: Vettel cannot opt to sit-out qualifying as being allowed to start the race is not guaranteed, in fact Vettel will take part in qualifying and he will have to do a time within 107% of the fastest time to be guaranteed a place on the starting grid. [\blockquote]

Come on, with Caterham & Marussia not there, do you REALLY think there are ANY circumstances in which the stewards would exclude Vettel from the grid? Not in a million years.