Fernando Alonso’s Italian Grand Prix weekend hasn’t got off to the best start, with the Spaniard set to get a 35-place grid penalty after Honda changed the entire power unit in his car.

But, there has been a bit of clever thinking at McLaren, opting to fit the new power unit for FP1 at Monza, before switching back to the older spec for the rest of the weekend.

This will free up the upgraded power unit used in FP1 for the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, which should give McLaren a better chance at a strong result around the Marina Bay track.

Honda has upgraded its internal combustion engine in an attempt to gain some extra power and Alonso is the only driver getting it fitted in Italy.

A seventh ICE and MGU-K, ninth TC and MGU-H, sixth Energy Store and fifth Control Electronics have been fitted to Alonso’s car. Because of this, he’ll get a 35-place grid drop for Monza.

He’s running the ‘spec 3.7’ power unit in first practice but that’ll be it, as he’ll switch back to the older spec for the rest of the weekend.

It’s reported that older spec is the one he used in Spa. Remember, the one he supposedly had an issue with in the race and had to retire…

Anyway, fitting the new spec for FP1 only will give McLaren and Alonso a chance to test it out, but save mileage on it for Singapore, where the team should be quicker.

Clever, really, because McLaren know Monza will be an uphill struggle for Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne. The engine move almost seems like they’re seeing the weekend as a lost cause already.