Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Baku City Circuit, 2017

Both McLaren drivers get 15-place grid penalties

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne will both take 15-place grid penalties for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The pair are therefore likely to start the race from the back row.

Sergio Perez, Force India, Baku City Circuit, 2017
Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice in pictures
The pair have new Honda turbochargers and MGU-Hs fitted for this weekend which in both cases is the sixth example each have used so far this year. Drivers may only used four power unit elements throughout the season without taking penalties.

Alonso will also use a new internal combustion engine and MGU-K for this race. Max Verstappen has a new energy store. None of these changes will result in penalties.

Honda F1 project head Yusuke Hasegawa said the team is “under no illusions that this weekend will be straightforward for us”.

“Baku City Circuit has one of the longest straights of any Formula 1 track at over 2km and is a notoriously power-hungry circuit. I think we can expect another tough challenge for the team.”

“We’re going through a difficult time at the moment, but we’re doing all that we can to rectify the situation. We must continue to concentrate on development as one team with McLaren and turn things around as soon as we can.”

McLaren’s drivers are the only ones to have received power unit change penalties so far this year. The only driver who might imminently receive such a penalty is Sebastian Vettel, who is already on his fourth Ferrari turbocharger. The next time he fits a new turbo he will receive a ten-place grid penalty.

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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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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  • 18 comments on “Both McLaren drivers get 15-place grid penalties”

    1. Michael Brown
      23rd June 2017, 12:31

      If it doesn’t rain , it pours for Honda.

      There is no way known to man, that McLaren can afford to keep the partnership going past this season.

      It really makes me wonder how long the Honda big-wigs will allow this brand – damaging farce to continue?

      The return on investment is simply non existent. They seem to be like a rudderless ship , drifting further behind the competition …..

    2. I think it’s going to be tough to have a good race starting from P16 and P17.

      1. You’re assuming they qualify P1 and P2?

        1. Right? More like last place and extra-last place.

        2. You’re also assuming that the parts they have on the car now last another few sessions….

          1. Yep. :D

    3. Why not change *all* the components?

      They’re going to be last on the grid anyway?

      1. Good question. Anybody can tell us about this?

    4. How you can have an engine supplier that provides equipment which is both slow AND unreliable is beyond me…

      I feel sorry for Alonso whose talent deserves far better, but also for Vandoorne who is currently impossible to pass fair judgement on because his motor is too delicate to push.

      It’s all been said before… but wow… I hope Sauber know something we don’t for 2018.

      1. @ben-n, Well if the rumours are true Honda can just keep changing bits all year and hope they learn enough to supply their new team with a good engine for 018.

        1. I think it’s just a case of Honda being determined to supply more engines than any other manufacturer this season…

      2. I hope Sauber know something we don’t for 2018.

        That’s highly unlikely, even Honda themselves didn’t have a clue for 3 years, now without being able to replicate the reliability problems on dyno, they won’t be able to solve it, never mind the power deficit. I think signing Honda was the last straw for Sauber’s owner to part way with Kaltenborn.

      3. Has Monica Team Principal(ex) left her job as the bosses of Sauber found out what engine supplier she had signed them up for?????
        Well I certainly would have….

        1. I doubt she would do that, I think she was looking forward to putting this year’s Ferrari engine into the car. I thought it was her bosses at Longbow who were delighted at the offer of cheap “built to the latest spec” Honda engines in preference to the “a year of last season’s spec” Ferrari engines (with Mahle turbulent jet technology).

    5. On the bright side. Saves them from getting overtaken by the rest on the long straight.

      1. +1 XDDD

    6. To paraphrase Schumacher.. Qualify on pole.start from 16th, win the race…

      Oh wait, they have no chance. Can they hope to beat Sauber on this track?

    7. I know its not related to F1 but Honda factory was shutdown due to Ransomware attack. Here is the link to news:
      https://www.techpowerup.com/234611/wannacry-strikes-again-attack-forces-honda-factory-to-shutdown

    Comments are closed.