Alonso and Red Bulls facing Monza penalties


It's understood, though not confirmed, that Honda has another upgrade for the Monza event which will necessitate a number of grid place drops for the Spaniard, just a week after teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was hit with a 65-spot demotion.

Honda is seeking to introduce a new Spec 4 engine but in the meantime is using the Spec 3.5/6.

"We had planned to introduce a spec-4 engine here but we failed," said Yusuke Hasegawa at the weekend. "Actually we didn't match to the schedule, so that we have a halfway upgrade. We called it 3.5 and 3.6 but I think we can introduce some decent upgrade here but we don't stop the improvement."

Asked if the upgrades were the result of rumoured collaboration with Ilmor, Hasegawa was giving little away.

"About the performance upgrade, it is very difficult to compare the previous engine to this engine because this is a completely different circuit but from the data point of view, we see some good upgrade of the performance here. Regarding the Ilmor consultancy, we do not disclose any partner of a consultancy or a supplier or any partnership.

"But we don't deny about any kind of consultancy or partnership from outside," he added. "We have many partners in the development."

As Honda seeks to improve performance and reliability, Spa saw Vandoorne issued with the latest spec unit, hence the grid penalties - 55 of which were engine related. Speaking after qualifying, Alonso admitted that he will be similarly hit this weekend.

"We had it planned," he said. "Next week it will be the other way around because it's my turn. We were trying to take advantage of the penalties, we have to find a positive and try to do the best for the team."

Meanwhile, following his engine failure yesterday, Max Verstappen is facing a grid penalty at Monza, the Dutch driver taking on his fourth Internal Combustion Engine on Saturday morning. Currently on four MGU-Hs, the youngster could be looking at further penalties.

"He's now staring down the barrel of a bunch of penalties in Monza so it is really frustrating for him," Christian Horner told "Our engine partners have apologised and are quite aware that their reliability and product isn't where it should be."

However, usually reliable sections of the German media report that with an eye on the races that follow, both Red Bull drivers will take on new power units in Italy feeling they can make up the lost positions far more easily thsan at the likes of Singapore.

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Published: 28/08/2017
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