Vandoorne set for 35-place grid penalty at home race

Stoffel Vandoorne

Local hero Stoffel Vandoorne’s first Belgian Grand Prix will see him start from the back of the grid due to grid penalties for yet another Honda engine component change on his McLaren.

Vandoorne, will be the first Belgian to line-up on the grid at Spa-Francorchamps since Jerome D’Ambrosio (Marussia) did so in 2011, is set for a 35-place grid penalty as Honda bolt on the latest ‘second phase’ update to the Spec3 power unit.

One local pundit saw the funny side to the scenario and quipped ahead of the weekend in the Ardennes: “Stoffel is starting the grand prix at Spa from Zolder!”

This is the fifth internal combustion engine, the eighth turbocharger, the eighth MGU-H, the fifth MGU-K, the sixth battery, and the sixth power electronics on Vandoorne’s car so far this season.

Only four elements of each component are allowed to be changed during the course of the championship before penalties are applied.

Fernando Alonso will not have the Spec3 upgrade for Spa, but will have it bolted on to the back of his McLaren for Monza a week later.