Vandoorne to suffer five-place grid penalty in Austin


Photo: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Stoffel Vandoorne will serve a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix after Honda took the decision to fit a new internal combustion engine – the Belgian’s eighth of the 2017 season.

The McLaren Honda Formula One Team driver is still looking to finish ahead of his vastly more experienced team-mate Fernando Alonso in the World Championship standings, and Honda believe that the new component will give Vandoorne and McLaren the best possible chance for points in the remaining four races.

It is thought that Honda were concerned with the high mileage that Vandoorne had accumulated on his current ICE.

Allegedly, the new ICE is a updated version as Honda look to finish their troublesome partnership with McLaren strongly, before moving to supply Scuderia Toro Rosso for the 2018 season on a preliminary three-year-deal.

It is understood that the Japanese marque have been keen to accelerate their development as much as possible, but will not change any other component of Vandoorne or Alonso’s power units for this weekend, with any updates for the McLaren duo beyond Austin currently unknown.

Vandoorne will use the new element from tomorrow’s first Free Practice session, whereas Alonso will keep the engine he used at the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago.