Romain Grosjean has been hit with a 20-place grid penalty at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for changing elements of his power unit, although the Lotus driver's punishment could be changed to a time penalty.

According to Formula One rules, a sixth change of any one of the six components comprising the power unit results in a sanction.

Lotus opted to use a sixth internal combustion unit, turbocharger and one of two energy storing units.

However, the grid penalty cannot be applied properly even if the Frenchman qualifies on pole position because there are only 20 cars on the grid, not 22, since bankrupt Marussia is absent.

And because it is the final race of the season, the penalty cannot carry over, which could lead to a time penalty instead.