Jenson Button will become the latest driver to receive a grid penalty for a gearbox change after McLaren were forced to change his gearbox ahead of the United States Grand Prix at Austin.
Button will drop five places on the grid after the gearbox fitted to his car after his retirement from the Singapore Grand Prix in September was found to be faulty, and with Formula 1 regulations requiring gearboxes to last for six consecutive races, this meant an automatic penalty for the Briton.
Button is hoping that hot conditions on Sunday allow him to recover those places as McLaren seem to be finding some form towards the end of the season, with Button and Kevin Magnussen having finished fourth and fifth last time out at Sochi.
“I’ve got a gearbox change, which is a bit of a pain in the arse – a five place penalty,” said Button, who has previously dismissed the gearbox penalty regulations as ‘silly’.
“Hopefully it’s going to be hot, though, and mix it [the race] up a little bit.
“We’re good now at controlling our tyre temperatures and [the race] should be mixed up in terms of pit stops, which is what we need starting five places back, because even if I qualified fourth or fifth, it’s still 10th on the grid and you’re on old tyres when the guys behind are on new tyres.”
McLaren are involved in a tight battle with the Sahara Force India team for fifth place in the constructors championship with just the races in the United States, Brazil and Abu Dhabi to come.