Fernando Alonso agrees that it is unfair for drivers to be hit with a grid drop penalty for mechanical problems out of their control and believes it is the team who should be punished having called for a Formula 1 rules overhaul.

During the build-up to the Austrian Grand Prix, ex-F1 driver Mark Webber suggested to the media the rules needed changing on power unit penalties to stop punishing individual drivers and focus more on teams.

With Alonso being continually hit by grid drop penalties for McLaren-Honda exceeding its permitted number of power unit components over the past three seasons, the two-time F1 world champion has echoed Webber's sentiment for engine penalties but does concedes the rules were designed without the anticipation of teams notching up a huge number of penalties due to poor unreliability.

"The team could get some kind of penalty or points penalty," Alonso said. "When we make a mistake or an incident, like Carlos Sainz in Canada and he then had three-place penalty for Baku, that was a driver error and you pay for it.

"Why, when the team has an error or an engine problem, and you have to change too many engines the driver pays for it? It is definitely unfair but it has been like this for the last three years. It is a difficult topic but let's see what comes from the future.

"The future will never be as dramatic as the last three years with our failures. When they thought about the penalties when they made the regulations three years ago nobody knew a manufacturer would use 12 or 13 engines. That wasn't in the plan."


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Drivers shouldn't pay for mechanical failures by penalties as they already pay by not finishing races! Limits on mechanical parts hampers racing. How about a system where the top three teams have monetary penalties where they have to contribute set amounts per penalty to a fund shared equally by the bottom three teams for their sole use of replacement parts for their race cars?

They should introduce a similar system to what they had/have in MotoGP wereby new teams or teams with no podiums in the last 12 or 24 months and/or perhaps less than 10% of the points of the top team have a higher limit of PU/Gearboxes etc per season and little or no grid penalties until a threshold is reached such as 3 podiums or more than 10% of the points of the top team.

Not only does that extra freedom help them develop the PU to help close up the field but it could also help sway any new PU manufacturer to enter knowing they'll have concessions which is something Honda hasn't really had joining the party late