All but two of the twenty cars on the Malaysian grand prix had fresh engines installed prior to Saturday's official action.

All but two of the twenty cars on the Malaysian grand prix had fresh engines installed prior to Saturday's official action.

Before 2009, changing an engine after just one race would have attracted a ten-position grid penalty.

But this year, the rules have been changed, allowing the teams the freedom to decide how to use a maximum of eight engines for the entire season.

Only when a ninth engine is fitted to a car this year, will the driver be penalised.

Initially, it was reported that all cars except Toro Rosso and McLaren changed their engines at Sepang, but it subsequently emerged that Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Buemi also did not race their Melbourne-specification Ferraris.

It is believed the widespread decision was based on the fact that Sepang's high temperatures and long straights made it wiser to use a fresh engine.

According to the 2009 rules, the Melbourne engines can now be reprised elsewhere on the calendar, while the Malaysia power plants are likely to be used at one of the less arduous tracks.

 

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