Rivals Alpine and McLaren hoping for penalty-free final stretch

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Alpine and McLaren are involved in a tight battle for P4 in F1's Constructors championship, and both teams hope their fight and the end of their 2022 season won't be impacted by engine penalties.

With six rounds to go, Alpine holds an 18-point lead over McLaren, the French squad outscoring its rival overall over the summer although it failed to put points on the board last time out at Monza, where McLaren bagged six points.

Although Alpine's A522 seems to hold a competitive advantage over the papaya squad's MCL36, the array of higher downforce upcoming tracks may help boost McLaren's performance.

However, with the team needing both its drivers to fight for points, it is at risk of falling victim to an engine-related grid drop due to Daniel Ricciardo's DNF at Monza caused by an oil leak.

The Aussie is now on the limit of all his engine elements, so any subsequent change will inevitably result in a grid demotion on race day.

But McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl is crossing his fingers that won't be the case.

"The goal is to end the season now without further penalties," said Seidl quoted by Motorsport.com.

"At Spa, I think pretty much all Mercedes cars rolled out the latest specification. And it was only Lando [Norris] who was penalised for a previous problem.

"We’ve seen over the past few years that obviously there are circuits like Spa or Monza where you expect to be able to overtake and where people take penalties, so it’s no surprise what happened at Spa and happened here [at Monza]."

In the opposite camp, Alpine opted to add at Monza several engine elements to Esteban Ocon's pool of hardware.

But sporting director Alan Permane insisted the move was strategic, adding that the team isn't planning any more engine changes.

"Fernando didn’t need a new engine at Monza and we thought it would be strategically advantageous for Esteban to have the new one engine for the rest of the season," said Permane.

"That’s all. It was a strategic change. It’s something that will help us in the upcoming races.

"Fernando is not short of engines, although I don’t rule out a power unit change for him, but at the moment we don’t have one more planned."

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