Fernando Alonso gets Honda F1 update and Malaysian GP grid penalty

Honda has spent two of its Formula 1 development tokens on an internal combustion engine upgrade but only Fernando Alonso will run it in Malaysia, Autosport has learned

Fernando Alonso gets Honda F1 update and Malaysian GP grid penalty

McLaren's engine partner, which now has just one token remaining, was unsure whether it would introduce it at Sepang, but made the call on Thursday morning.

Alonso will take a 30-place grid penalty as Honda is changing the ICE, his ninth of the season, as well as the turbo, MGU-H, energy store and control electronics.

One token has been spent for an update on the engine block, with the aim of improving reliability and durability while adding performance due to a reduction in weight.

The second token has been used to upgrade the exhaust.

Honda plans to fit the updated power unit to Alonso's McLaren for Friday practice and will then make a call on whether it stays in the car for the afternoon.

It anticipates only using the unit on Friday before switching back to the older spec for Saturday, as its main priority is to confirm the update's effectiveness.

Though Alonso keeping the new engine in for the race weekend has not been completely ruled out, it is understood this is not currently in Honda's plan and is unlikely to happen.

As it stands, Jenson Button will not get the update in Malaysia and Honda is undecided as to whether he will do so at the next race in Japan because it wants to avoid penalties on home soil.

Honda had hoped to use all of its engine development tokens before the end of the season but it is believed it will end the year without using its final one.

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