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.”