Alonso to start last in Belgium after further penalty

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Fernando Alonso will start Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix from last place on the grid after receiving a further penalty overnight for another power unit change.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso was hit with a 35-place grid drop for taking a new power unit on Friday, mirroring a move made by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

The Spaniard was unable to set a time in qualifying after an issue on his car forced him to stop on his out lap, prompting McLaren to change more components ahead of the race, resulting in another penalty.

Alonso’s total grid drop now amounts to 60 places, meaning he starts the race behind Hamilton who has a 55-place drop. Naturally, neither can serve their penalty in full, but they will start P21 and P22.

“Obviously it’s painful when you have reliability problems such as these, but at the end of the day it’s part of our learning process,” Alonso said after qualifying.

“We know what we have to do: we have to understand what’s still too fragile in the PU, reinforce those parts, and make sure that next year we have a PU that’s powerful and strong enough to be capable of fighting at the front.”

Alonso took to Instagram to make fun of the penalties, flipping the grid so that he and Hamilton would be on the front row.

Pole-sitter Nico Rosberg wasn’t having any of it though.

The Belgian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.