Honda pilots may lose positions on F1 Azerbaijan grid

Honda pilots may lose positions on F1 Azerbaijan grid

Honda pilots may lose positions on F1 Azerbaijan grid

The Spaniard was already resigned to starting on the back row of the grid after various component changes since the Canadian Grand Prix landed him with 40 positions worth of grid penalties, while his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne has accumulated 35 of his own in their "battle" to not be 20th.

The majority of problems for engine partner, Honda, this season have come in the form of MGU-H problems.

"At the moment there is no reason why we won't continue with Valtteri, but we just want to give ourselves time to see how the season pans out", Wolff added.

Fernando Alonso has been vocal in his disdain for the Honda engine, having only been able to finish one race in 2017.

They will also have new internal combustion engines, but these will be the third for Vandoorne and the fourth for Alonso, still within the allocation, so there will be no more penalties associated with that.

While tests of an upgraded "Spec 3" version in Friday practice formed part of a pool of four engines he is allowed for the season, the decision to revert to a new "Spec 2" unit has forced more penalties. For this, he receives yet another 15 place penalty.

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Vandoorne noted that he, just like Alonso, will probably face a penalty for replacing the engine of his F1 vehicle, so they will probably be competing for places in the bottom-row of the starting grid. "I don't think it will be too different." .

"We are obviously making a lot of compromises this weekend in terms of aero set-up to try and gain a little bit of speed down the straight", said the Belgian.

After the failure in Canada, team boss Zak Brown described Honda's situation as "lost" as speculation intensifies that McLaren are prepared to ditch Honda and return to Mercedes power in 2018, after the disaster of the Honda project from 2015 onwards.

While accelerating through the middle sector, Alonso slowed with smoke emerging from the rear of his McLaren and took to team radio to tell the team "engine".

Fernando Alonso believes Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were left "confused" by the lack of pace he has in his McLaren-Honda.

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