Sport

Alonso and Vandoorne hit with further penalties after engine change

Alonso and Vandoorne hit with further penalties after engine change

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.

It will be a massive humiliation for McLaren, who have won 20 world titles stretching back to 1974, and on a street circuit where overtaking is virtually impossible.

Lewis Hamilton has backed McLaren to be powered by a Mercedes engine next year to ensure there are more competitive cars on the grid.

Failure after failure of the Honda engine has plagued the Woking based squad this season, but the Japanese manufacturer have finally produced a counter measure that they hope will resolve their ongoing dilemma.

However, given that neither McLaren has recorded a top 10 finish so far in 2017, Alonso seemed destined to leave. They are having a struggle right now, and it does not look like it will change any time soon.

Other than Renault, both Ferrari and Mercedes are understood to have expressed an interest in signing him, aware that there are few better pound-for-pound drivers available.

Burling, Kiwis beat Oracle third time in America's Cup
Smyth said Oracle "went after" Ashby but failed. "We're all still on an incredibly steep part of the learning curve", he said. When the boats reach a certain speed, they rise up on a daggerboard and rudders, with the hulls completely out of the water.


Fernando Alonso reckons McLaren could score points on Sunday if the race proves to be one of attrition - which practice would suggest may be the case. We knew this track is not our best performance because of the level of power you need but I think we did a good qualifying and a good preparation for the race.

"He is a great addition to the team and every day he is with us that becomes more clear".

In the knowledge it would receive grid penalties this weekend, Boullier said McLaren had opted for race setups on both cars rather than chasing one-lap performance. "That is where he belongs".

Honda have brought a number of upgrades to Baku but Alonso, who fears he could lose up to three seconds on the 1.4 miles main straight, the longest in F1, does not believe they will have much of an impact.

"We'll have to start at the back of the grid anyway, so we'll take things smoothly in qualifying", Alonso told McLaren's official website (www.mclaren.com) after Friday's session.


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