McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne now has a 65-place grid penalty for this Sunday’s Belgian GP, after more engine component changes.
He’ll now be starting the race from half-way around Pouhon. OK, we’re only joking with that, but that’s a crazy grid drop. Not the best way to return from the summer break…
Even before the race weekend had got going, it was already confirmed that Vandoorne had a 35-place grid penalty after upgrading to Honda’s ‘Spec 3.6’ power unit.
He moved onto his eighth MGU-H and TC, sixth Control Electronics and Energy Store, and fifth MGU-K and ICE. Meaning, a 35-place grid drop.
But, Honda found an issue after Friday practice and decided to replace the engine, going back to the ‘Spec 3.5’ engine, which is the same as Fernando Alonso is running.
That means he’s now got an extra 25-place penalty, for a sixth ICE, MGU-K, ninth (yep…) TC and MGU-H.
To make things even worse, a five-place grid drop for a gearbox change has added even more places to his penalty, upping it to the final total of 65.
The way things are going, though, it wouldn’t surprise us if the penalty rises even more.