Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2015

Another grid penalty likely for Alonso after crash

2015 British Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2015Fernando Alonso may be forced to take further penalties this weekend as McLaren has confirmed he is likely to need another change of engine.

Alonso took a total of 25 grid place penalties at the Austrian Grand Prix due to power unit and gearbox changes. However his team has confirmed the new unit sustained damage when he and Kimi Raikkonen collided on the opening lap of the race.

“We believe that Fernando’s power unit has sustained damage from the accident and it may be necessary to change the engine,” said Honda’s senior managing officer Yasuhisa Arai.

Arai also raised the possibility of Jenson Button also needing another engine and taking further penalties at his home race.

“As for Jenson’s power unit this weekend, the issue is still under investigation,” he said, confirming a “sensor failure” ended Button’s race in Austria. Button was also penalised 25 grid places at the race.

“Honda is not looking to put any hardware updates in place for the British Grand Prix,” Arai added, “but we will optimise the power unit setting to the updated aero parts planned on the chassis.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 65 comments on “Another grid penalty likely for Alonso after crash”

    1. Oh good grief. Shouldn’t they be allowed to have a “free” engine after a crash, particularly one that wasn’t their fault?

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        30th June 2015, 15:39

        In most cases I’d say so… would be helpful if the stewards were allowed a bit of leeway in whether or not to impose a penalty in circumstances such as this.

      2. @dev_iant
        How hard can it be to apply common sense in F1? This seems like such an obvious step that I have a hard time seeing the teams wouldn’t get together in 5 minutes and say: “Yeah, you get a break if someone crashes you out and causes you to lose an engine”. Next.
        By the way….LOVE the Opus moniker! :)

      3. It’s my understanding that Alonso will get an old engine so there will be no grid penalty and Jensons problem is still under investigation by Honda so there is no decision on that one yet. It could just be a sensor issue and I agree with the other posters that these grid penalties are just crazy.

      4. Exactly! How can it be fair that you get smashed by another driver and then have to take penalties for replacing the broken parts! Perhaps the driver responsible should have to donate his engine allocation? (That would not be any more ridiculous…..)

    2. Common guys there is still a possibility for Alonso to beat Stevens and Merhi

      1. He would need to finish first.

        1. @xusso: and by the way he is going to lose his funny record: Most championship points in F1 and guess to whom?? To the drivers that crushed him Hamilton and Vettel :D :D
          Poooooooooooooooooor Alonso :D

          1. Crushed ???? ha ha … you must’ve been following a different sport

            1. @puneethvb: Yes I am following a sport dominated by Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton
              I don’t follow the backmarkers :D

          2. @malik Had Schumacher had the same percentage of points in the 25 per win era he’s surpass Alonso for sure, also Prost might.

            1. @xtwl: I know but Alonso surprisingly didn’t know that :D
              and celebrated the absurd record in India 2013
              and by the way he didn’t score points at that race :D

          3. Well, by this definition of the word “crushed”, then Alonso crushed Michael Schumacher in 2005 and 2006. Not bad for a “backmarker”. I do not really agree with the use of that word to define the victories of such fine drivers as Alonso, Schumacher, Hamilton or Vettel.

    3. The luckiest man in motorsport J

    4. Actually, given that McLaren aren’t competitive this year, I hope they end up serving hundreds of grid place penalties before the season is up in order to hammer home the pompous ridiculousness of it all.

      1. It’s only ridiculous if your name is Renault or Honda. For teams like Ferrari and Mercedes, these penalties are entirely reasonable.

    5. So a Merc 1-2 and no decent performance boost for McLaren then. Not sure it’s really worth watching, and I’ve watched every session/lap/race so far this season. The only thing keeping me interested for this coming weekend is the Force India B-spec car.

      These penalties are just utterly pointless and need to be changed in-season ASAP. Aside from cheering for a Hamilton win, I’m expecting some boos from the 140,000 strong crowd (if they all bother going) on Sunday.

      Hopefully a Lewis-Hulk-Rosberg podium.

      1. Hopefully a Hulk-Vettel-Rosberg podium.

    6. Painful to watch Alonso in the back of the pack, Mclaren Honda better get a reliable and fast car next year or the sport might loose a legend in a undignifying manner.

    7. Hard to imagine how it can get any worse for Alonso this season.

      1. @willwood
        He could be eaten by a shark…or choke to death on a Cheerio. So I guess, in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse.

        1. Alejandro Torres
          30th June 2015, 16:52

          Another spygate/crashgate/something-gate.

          1. Cheeto-gate.

          2. Eyebrow-Gate.

      2. He could be on my wages instead of 30 million. I would swap jobs with him, bit of training to last a few laps no problem

      3. Like Ferrari developing/lucking upon a monster of an engine. Vettel taking his 5th title and first with Ferrari in his debut season?


    8. It’s fine, it’s fine– Alonso stated very clearly he preferred being last with McLaren to getting 3rds and occasional wins with Ferrari.

      1. He said he knew this would be a hard year and they wouldn’t win! Why is that so difficult for people to understand? Foolish to bury them half way through the season.

    9. petebaldwin (@)
      30th June 2015, 16:32

      We’re nowhere near the end of the season – what’s going to happen in the last few races?

      Alonso has picked up a 450 place grid penalty having used his 70th power unit of the season. As he cannot serve the full penalty, Alonso will be required to stop within the first 3 laps and run a marathon.

      What an absolute omnishambles.

      1. @petebaldwin He will have a stop-and-go of around 90mins, that’s almost like most of his races anyway, spending that time in the pits.

    10. only in modern stupid f1 can you have a top 2 driver in the series (and arguable a top 2- best driver in the world in any racing series) being repeatadly penalised for issues not related to his driving. F1 is a becoming a complete joke, and that is coming from me a diehard since early 1990s.. i will love f1 until it dies, but at this rate, i hope it dies quick, it is really pathetic at the moment, this sport is an embaressment at the moment, it is ridiculous and pathetic. i know Alonso dreams of a third championship, but i would rather see him in LMP1 in WEC at the moment in this stupid F1 era.

    11. Is he beating the record for most penalties in a season or is Maldonado his 2012 record still safe?

    12. Gah I do feel for Alonso and Button! I get they are playing the long game, using this as a testing season but their morale must be pretty low by now, even if they do put a brave face on for the camera.

      1. Havent been an Alonso fan since crashgate, but I’ve always supported Mclaren. If they do not renew Button’s contract after giving him this dog, I’ll cheer for them to fail in every way possible (Honda/Acura included).

        1. Agree with that. Ok so I am dreaming but it would be poetic justice if Jenson was to replace Kimi at Ferrari for a career finale just to show he is still good, and whilst Honda take another year to work out theiir engine is too radical to succeed in its current format and go back to teh drawing board….

    13. Is anyone else sick of this? The sport is bad enough now, with stupid engine tech nobody but the engineers cares about. All these penalties move the guys I want to watch most, show up on tv the least!!

      Things I don’t care about in my racing
      Engine “technology” i’m all for a good tech fight but this is stupid.
      management of assets within the car at any point in a race weekend

      F1 isnt’ racing, management of assets for the driver, strategy for the team, and a tech jackoff for the engineers.

      1. So, what F1 did you like?

        – The 80s stuff, with the quieter turbos, the fuel & engine saving and one team (McLaren, Williams or Brabham) pretty much dominating a season?
        – The 90s, with the high tech active cars that sterilised racing & only engineers cared about, refuelling and domination from either Williams, Benetton or McLaren?
        – The early 00s, when it was basically the Schumacher show, with rules changing weekly to catch Ferrari out and stupid rules such as ‘one set of tyres per race’?
        – The late 00s, when the cars looked laughable with their bunny ears & the tyres were so hard we had persistent one-stop racing and processions from light to flag?
        – Or how about the tail end of the last formula, with Red Bull spending their way to victory, ear-splitting V8 engines that were so standardised, they might as well have all been the same & CVC draining the sport dry?

        1. RP (@slotopen)
          1st July 2015, 0:59


          I enjoy F1. My biggest worry is the sport being bled dry.

        2. – Or how about the tail end of the last formula, with Red Bull spending their way to victory, ear-splitting V8 engines that were so standardised, they might as well have all been the same & CVC draining the sport dry?
          Yeah I’ll take that one please. That era was probably the best of all.

    14. As a grid penalty, Alonso should start British GP from Spain. And by the end of the season, McLarens will be starting from Japan (apart from Japanese GP of course, in which they will take start from Woking.

    15. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 40 victories!!! (@)
      30th June 2015, 17:48

      Here in Peru we have some “shamans”, maybe he should try a “lucky flowers bath”! hahahaha just kidding, poor man, maybe that is his karma after “not knowing” anything about the Crashgate!

    16. These engine regulations just are not working. How in the world can teams at this point have 4 engines a season? How could the FIA have expected the manufacturers to not have problems during the season?

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        30th June 2015, 21:18

        Mercedes and Ferrari don’t seem to have many issues with it…

        1. You should have left Ferrari out of it. They have very reliable engines but it takes more than reliability to win. I would consider them a failure over the past 7 years. A lot of money spent and nothing to show for it.

        2. It’s not reasonable to expect perfection from all different power unit parties. F1 is the top level of international motorsports, sure- and it needs top-flight people to come up with rules so that the power unit manufacturers can have some kind of a chance to catch up. That is what competition is all about. These rules are so restrictive that basically, only Mercedes and maybe Ferrari really understood them- and they knew that they needed to produce something special right off the bat- and not take the season developmental approach that Honda and Renault are taking. That just is not fair, and it is antitheitcal to what Formula One has always been about- competition on the track (racing) and off the track (developing technology, whether its drivetrain or car related to beat the next team) Mercedes and Ferrari did a better job than Honda and Renault- but what I don’t like is how stupidly thought out these PW rules are and how it affects the drivers. These engine regs are actually so stupid it’s really not funny at all- it’s disheartening. It drives away manufacturers. And really, Ecclestone is mostly right- it needs to be like the 70’s again where there needs to be 1 power unit (like Ford/Cosworth) and 1 gearbox manufacturer (Hewland, or nowadays Xtrac) that teams can buy from if they want to get into F1.

    17. LOL.., even MotoGP has better engine regulation.

    18. It’s funny, weren’t there people here saying McLaren would get a podium finish by the end of the year?

      1. @paeschli Sure, but which season.

    19. It seems very harsh that being crashed into means Alonso has to serve a penalty. He now knows how we all felt playing F1 2012 with its penalty system.

    20. I’ll just point out the obvious. The blame for this lies 100% in the hands of Honda. They had 2+ years of non-constructor status and even more if you believe the rumor that Honda has a skunkworks team that has produced F1 engines that have met all recent specs for research purposes. As a non constructor Honda could have ran and test their engines on any track in a single seater carbon car with similar specs to an F1 car. This would have been expensive but would that really cost as much as the damage this season has done to their image? NO.

      To win in F1 you must cheat, no championship team has ever got their by being good lads that follow the rules. Mclaren is no stranger to cheating and understands this cut throat mentality. Honda is clearly showing signs of weakness in this department. Nice guys do not finish first in F1.

      1. Where have Mercedes cheated?

        I acknowledge that all teams push the regs, but the way the current status quo is that Mercedes were the only manufacturer to do a good job…

        1. Keith will disagree, but the proof is in the pudding. Bernie ecclestone gave an interview with sky Italia in which he said Mercedes were pretty much in the room when the rules were being formulated, most likely whispering in the ears of the rule makers. The pudding you ask? Sky Italia pulling the interview and threats to journalist for pursuing the story. Mercedes bought their domination and their investment is Being protected.

          If anyone can give me a sound reason as to why the interview was pulled, I’ll buy into a legit merc domination theory.

          Either way to my original point, Honda should have strapped a pair on and taken advantage of their non constructor status. That is the biggest failure of theirs in this whole fiasco.

          1. Don’t forget the secret tyre test… (black helmets for Ham and Ros)

        2. Unfortunately, LayerCake is right. To be F1 champion, one must sacrifice nearly everything and be so single-minded that nothing else at that stage in a driver’s life matters. Or, have a car that is so unbeatable (like the Mercedes) and have a teammate that is considerably slower than you are. Look at Stirling Moss- probably England’s greatest ever F1 driver: he was never F1 champion because he was a nice guy (I’m talking about Portugal ’58). He probably would have been F1 champion if he hadn’t crashed in ’62, but then again, those were very different times to now.

    21. At this pace, I estimate that by the end of the season Alonso will have more than 100 grid places penalties.
      THAT will be a hard to break record.

      1. I bet his teammate can beat him to the record…

    22. Huge Hamilton fan but this is painful. I said i would rather Alo win a 3rd title before Ham and Vet win again aslong as Hm gets his 3rd this year. Way too talented to have 2. I feel for him as since Vet and Ham have been in F1 he has zero WC. He had the chances though he could have stayed and fight for the WC in 08 but he could not take it he would have too fight like Lewis had too with Alo, But Ros . Hope he gets one have we ever seen a driver like this leave this way it is embarassing that he cannot score points. I wish he stayed at Ferrari they seem to have a much better shot Alo just made few wrong decisions and it has cost him. He is wasting the last of his peak years.

    23. You couldn’t make this up.

      The rules are the rules & all the teams agreed to them, the only people to blame are Éric Boullier & Ron Dennis.

      I think that the rules are stupid, however if a car is using a extra engine then surely a penalty is required for each race the ‘extra’ engine is used in, not just the first time it’s used.

    24. Honda have confirmed he will be changing engine but using an old one, he will not be getting a penalty (unless it breaks down over the weekend, which would no be surprising)

      1. McLaren deserve this. They have been very poor last few years and their decision making on suppliers is even worse. As a life long Ferrari fan and Ron Dennis hater this is the next best thing to Ferrari winning. I saw Williams drop back so far but never thought I could even dream where McLaren have ended up. No sponsors was good but this is great for me. They will never go bust as the name is worth too much but throwing Ron Dennis out might make them at least some what likeable.

    25. The current engine regulations essentially turn F1 into an endurance based affair… both in terms of pace during a race, but also with respect to how teams spread out the use of their 4 (or more) engines over multiple races. Its completely kills any element of risk taking.

      JB being retired last race due to a sensor failure is a prime result. Way back when they wouldve carried on for the rest of the race if a sensor failed… and if the engine blew up it blew up. Now its far too risky to carry on even if theres a chance that the engine wouldnt fail… its all about damage limitation. Surely thats one of the (many) problems that F1 needs to iron out.

    26. Does anyone know the best place to find the latest engine component usage figures? crash.net has some information but it is always 1 or 2 races behind.

    27. Surely the rules used to allow accident-damaged parts to be replaced, outside the normal limits. It certainly applied to tyres, but perhaps that was because of safety concerns. Then there were Hamilton’s brake discs changed in parc fermé (said to be for a safety issue, but also a performance boost).

      As many have said, replacement for damage by another competitor should be allowed, and I rather like the idea of ‘charging’ it to the other competitor’s allowance.

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