Jenson Button has been hit with a 50-place grid penalty after McLaren elected to take two new complete power units for this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
McLaren has struggled on-track in 2015 thanks to the shortcomings of its Honda power unit, which has forced the team into exceeding the limit of four components permitted by the FIA to be used across the course of the season.
On Friday, the FIA confirmed that McLaren had taken two complete new power units in a bid to give Button a fresh one to race with in Mexico and stock up ahead of the final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
Button has taken two new internal combustion engines (ICE), taking his tally for the year up to 11. He is also up to 11 turbo chargers (TC), 11 MGU-Hs and 10 MGU-Ks.
“An 11th ICE, 11th TC, 11th MGU-H and 10th MGU-K have been used by car 22,” a statement from the stewards confirmed. “This is a breach of Article 28.4 a) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations. In accordance with Article 28.4 f) a 10 grid position penalty is imposed, as this is the first time 11th power unit element has been used.
“Two 5 grid position penalties are imposed for the TC and MGU-H as this is the first time a 11th of any of the remaining elements have been used.
“A 5 grid position penalty is also imposed for the MGU-K as this is the first time a 10th of any of the remaining elements have been used.”
Amounting to 25 places, this stewards’ penalty followed a near-identical earlier in the day regarding Button, leaving him with a drop of 50 places for tomorrow’s race.
In the sister McLaren-Honda, Fernando Alonso has also been forced into taking a new ICE and gearbox, leaving him with a 15-place grid drop for the Mexican Grand Prix that is likely to confine him to the back row of the grid alongside Button.