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Vandoorne set for Belgian GP grid penalty after power unit changes

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Stoffel Vandoorne’s first home race in Formula 1 has got off to a rough start after Honda confirmed it had changed a number of components on his power unit, leading to a 35-place grid drop for the Belgian Grand Prix.

McLaren has struggled for much of the season due to a lack of reliability with its Honda power unit, limiting the team to just three top-10 finishes through the first 11 races.

Vandoorne arrived in Belgium off the back of his first points of the year in Hungary last time out, but looks set to start from the back row by virtue of his grid penalty.

Honda has been forced to change a raft of parts on the power unit including the ICE, MGU-H, Control Electronics and Energy Store, tallying a 35-place drop so far.

“Both Fernando and Stoffel will be running upgraded power units this weekend,” Honda motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa confirmed.

“Unfortunately Stoffel will receive a grid penalty at his home grand prix, but it is important for us to introduce updates as soon as they are ready.

“It is positive that we have been able to introduce this next step forward so quickly, and we will continue to introduce updates throughout the remainder of the season.”

Montreal Mayor cancels Formula E’s planned season four finale

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New Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has cancelled the FIA Formula E Championship’s planned season four finale, which was set for two races on July 28 and 29, 2018, citing what was termed a “financial fiasco.”

Plante was elected to replace Denis Coderre in the role, and didn’t follow Coderre’s support of the event.

She announced the news today citing financial and logistical challenges she didn’t feel the city could overcome.

Via a report in the CBC, Plante’s administration estimated a potential cost of up to $35 million would needed to be paid by the city’s taxpayers for the event’s second running. Additionally, a nonprofit organization reportedly owes creditors some $9.5 million.

Plante revealed details today in a series of messages posted on Twitter, which you can see in order below.

A Formula E spokesperson supplied a statement of the surprise news to e-racing365.com:

Formula E’s fourth season underwent one calendar change with a return to Punta Del Este, Uruguay replacing a cancelled race in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Whether a replacement can be sourced for this race weekend will now remain to be seen.