Heidfeld Faces Grid Penalty
May 6, 2005 | 10:15 A.M. EST
Under new Formula One regulations, an engine must last two races for an equivalent of around 1,000 miles. The 10 grid penalty is in effect when a team changes the engine ahead of qualifying.
"The faulty exhaust valve could cause retirement in the race and therefore, we have decided not to take that risk," BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said.
BMW is currently assembling two new spec units in Munich and plans to have them in Spain before Saturday's first practice session. Heidfeld's teammate Mark Webber also requires a new engine, although the team had previously planned on installing a new engine in his car for the weekend.
The scheduled engine for Webber's car was found to have the same defect. Rather than starting him with the faulty engine, the team decided Webber would skip Friday's practice sessions thereby avoiding the engine change penalty.