McLaren’s Belgian GP grid penalty total rises to 105 places


McLaren’s cumulative total of grid penalties for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix has risen to 105 places after the team made further changes to the power units on its cars.

The British team has struggled since switching to Honda power units for the 2015 season, experiencing a number of issues with the components supplied by the Japanese manufacturer.

Since exceeding the season limit of five power units earlier in the season, McLaren has since racked up a sizeable grid penalty for every additional change that has been made.

On Friday, the FIA stewards confirmed that Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button had received a combined grid drop of 55 places after new components were fitted to their cars.

McLaren has now opted to take another new set of components for both cars, prompting the stewards to hand the teams a further 50 places worth of grid penalties, taking the team’s total to 105.

As per a stewards’ statement, “an 8th Internal Combustion Engine, 8th Turbo Charger, 8th MGU-H, and 7th MGU-K have been used” on Alonso’s car, whilst “a 9th Turbo Charger, 9th MGU-H, 8th Internal Combustion Engine, and 8th MGU-K have been used” on Button’s.

The end result? Alonso enters tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix with a 55-place grid penalty; Button has 50.

Naturally, neither driver will be able to serve the entirety of their penalties. Button qualified 17th on Saturday ahead of Alonso in P18. They will start 19th and 20th respectively due to their sanctions – not 67th and 73rd as I snarkily suggested on Twitter.

Neither driver will have to serve any kind of in-race penalty either after the additional sanctions were scrapped by the FIA last month, meaning that the actual damage of the changes is four grid positions.

The Belgian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.