Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button hit with combined 55-place grid drop

Mirko Stange/Sutton Images

McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have received an accumulative 55 places of grid penalties for engine changes ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Honda has brought an upgraded power unit to Spa which it hopes can cut its performance gap to the front-runners. That means both drivers have received a host of new elements ahead of the grand prix and, as Alonso and Button have already exceeded the maximum of four power unit elements permitted this season, large penalties have been handed out.

Alonso gets 30 places as a result of taking a seventh internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger and MGU-H, as well as a sixth MGU-K and control electronics. The new ICE carries a ten-place grid penalty as it is the first time he has used a seventh power unit element, while the other changes account for five places apiece.

Button, meanwhile, gets a 25-place penalty after taking on an eighth turbocharger and MGU-H, as well as a seventh ICE and MGU-K. Using his first eighth component is a ten-place drop, while the other three changes account for a drop of five places each.

McLaren will be relieved grid penalties no longer carry over into a race penalty as per the tweaked regulations, meaning the severity of the penalty is limited to starting at the back of the grid.