Belgian GP penalties for McLaren's Alonso/Button amid Honda changes

McLaren Formula 1 drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will incur grid penalties at the Belgian Grand Prix after taking their seventh Honda engines of the season, AUTOSPORT has learned

Belgian GP penalties for McLaren's Alonso/Button amid Honda changes

Honda is hoping to match Ferrari's power output from Spa onwards with a revised internal combustion engine, featuring changes to the combustion chamber, intake, exhaust layout and gear-train system.

To do this, it has used three of its engine upgrade tokens and this required a new ICE to be fitted to both cars.

The rules state that a driver will take a 10-place penalty for the first change of a set of components and five places for subsequent changes to that set.

As Button has already taken a seventh turbo charger and MGU-H, the move to a seventh ICE will likely mean he takes a five-place drop.

Alonso has yet to use the seventh component of any element and is therefore expected to take a 10-place grid drop.

Honda has made further changes to ancillary parts of the engine, such as to allow the ERS to pair to the ICE, and thus further penalties could be applied.

The total penalties Button and Alonso will take should become clear once the cars run in first practice on Friday.

Following a rule change last month, the most a driver can be penalised is to be demoted to the back of the grid, thus eliminating in-race penalties for these infractions. That system had been declared too harsh by some teams.

The remaining tokens available to each of the four manufacturers are:

Ferrari 7 (3 used)
Honda 4 (5 used)
Mercedes 7
Renault 12

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