Button to serve drive-through penalty in Canada after engine element changes

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McLaren has confirmed that Jenson Button will serve a drive-through penalty during today’s Canadian Grand Prix after the team changed two elements on his power unit overnight.

Button was unable to take part in Saturday’s qualifying session due to a problem on his engine, leaving him 20th on the grid for the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

In order to get the car fit for racing on Sunday, McLaren was forced to change two elements on the power unit, resulting in a further two grid penalties for Button.

As the Briton is unable to serve any of the 15 place grid (ten places for the first component change, five for the second), he will have to take a drive-through penalty in the race on Sunday.

Button is clearly hoping to take inspiration from his drive at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix where he bounced back from six pit stops, a crash with teammate Lewis Hamilton and running last to win the race on the final lap ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Although a repeat seems improbable, Button is still be hoping to make the best of a bad situation and give McLaren something to smile about on Sunday.

“This morning we did a lot of set-up work in the car, and it felt much better than yesterday, so I was looking forward to qualifying,” Button said on Saturday.

“It was disappointing to miss it, therefore, but it happens – and we’ll make the best of it tomorrow.

“The guys have worked so hard this weekend; they did a great job of getting Fernando [Alonso]’s car back together for qualifying and they’ll do the same fantastic job as they always do with my car, but weekends like this one are tough for the whole team.

“It’ll be a long race, but I’m already looking forward to it.”

The Canadian Grand Prix is live on NBC from 2pm ET on Sunday, with F1 Countdown starting at 1:30pm ET on NBCSN.