Welcome home Stoffel, here’s a 35-place grid penalty!

Home / Welcome home Stoffel, here’s a 35-place grid penalty!

Stoffel Vandoorne’s joy of heading to his home race with a McLaren contract for 2018 will be tempered by a 35-place grid penalty!

McLaren-Honda’s decision to fit the Japanese manufacturer’s latest-spec 3 unit to the back of the Belgian’s MCL32 for Spa will therefore come at a price unfortunately. 

Both McLaren drivers will have improved units this weekend although Vandoorne’s spec-3.6 engine will enjoy a new ICE element as well as a few upgraded bits centered around reliability.

Fernando Alonso will basically race with his slightly improved 3.5 Hungarian GP engine, but will not take any penalties.

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“Both Fernando and Stoffel will be running upgraded power units this weekend,” said Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa.

“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.” 

Given the added boost of racing at home, it will be interesting to see how Vandoorne fares against his team mate in qualifying on Saturday with the benefit of a slightly improved engine.

Spa’s layout and multiple overtaking opportunities will also come in handy for the local hero on race day when he starts at the tail end of the Belgian GP grid.

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