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McLaren-Honda will take grid penalties at Belgian GP


The team, which counts Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso as its drivers, has announced engine upgrades ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

The racing outfit have announced that they plan to introduce new upgrades to their engines ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. 

Like Infiniti Red Bull Racing, McLaren have also exceeded their permissible number of engines – 4 – this season. The limit was revised to 5 earlier this year, but the drivers, who have had several repeated issues with the power units still exceeded FIA-permissible limits, and for this, they took on grid penalties ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. 

Between drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda took on a total of 50 grid penalties for that race, which both retired from. 

Both drivers had a reversal in fortune at the Hungarian Grand Prix as McLaren had a double points finish – Alonso high up in 5th and Button in 8th. However, that race weekend was not without its fair share of problems with the outfit as Alonso lost power during the qualifying session, his car coming to a halt on the track. The safety car was brought out following this, and the double world champion was pictured pushing his vehicle down the track. 

Alonso has retired from more races – 5 in total – than he has finished this year – 4. Button, on the other hand, has had 4 retirements and 5 finishes. This in itself indicates the team need necessary work on their power units. Honda motorsport chief Yasuhisa Arai, in a nod to this, said that improvements to the ICE or Internal Combustion Engine were underway, and that the team were looking to “improve our power units for Spa and the second half of the season.”

The Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is known for being one of the toughest, fastest races on the Formula One calendar, and is often ranked second only to Monza. It tests not only drivers’ speed but their racing skill, and will be a true test for teams that may have otherwise cruised through the season.

Austrian outfit Red Bull Racing are also likely to pick up penalties as they have also announced engine upgrades ahead of the Grand Prix at Belgium. Drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat both finished the Hungarian GP on the podium following a very lackluster racing season. 

Summer break will end this weekend as the Belgian GP gets underway, with the first practice session on Friday, and Alonso has said he is expecting a ‘tricky’ race. 

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