Alonso, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Sainz all get Monza grid drops

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Four Formula 1 drivers have been hit with grid penalties for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza after taking new power unit elements heading into the race weekend.

Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. will all lose places from their qualifying position, with the FIA confirming the penalties on Friday ahead of second practice.

Grid penalties have been a recurring theme for Alonso through 2017 amid ongoing struggles for McLaren’s engine partner, Honda, with a brand new power unit being taken on Friday to trigger a 35-place drop.

However, the ‘Spec 3.7’ power unit was only used in FP1 by Alonso before switching back to the ‘Spec 3.5’ unit for the remainder of the weekend. This was also raced with at Spa, with Alonso retiring after reporting an issue that Honda was unable to find.

McLaren will save the fresh power unit for the next race in Singapore where it stands a better chance of scoring points.

A similar tactic is being taken by Red Bull, which has also struggled for engine power so far this season with Renault, leading to growing frustration between the parties.

Max Verstappen will drop 15 places on the grid after Red Bull took a new MGU-H and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) on Friday, while Ricciardo falls 20 positions, fitting a new MGU-H, ICE and turbocharger.

Finally, Carlos Sainz Jr. has taken his fifth MGU-H of the season, going beyond the yearly limit of four for the first time, warranting a 10-place grid drop.