Vandoorne: Penalty was a matter of time

Fox in the box – Nenad Krsticic

Facing his first engine penalty of this season at round four of the campaign, Stoffel Vandoorne says it was “just a matter of time” given Honda’s reliability woes.

Vandoorne complained of "no power" in the closing minutes of Friday's first practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

Honda believed that the problem stemmed from the MGU-K and did a complete engine change between the sessions.

‼️NEWS‼️ Stoffel Vandoorne is set to receive a grid penalty for Sunday's race in Russia! Due to power unit problems for McLaren's engine supplier, Honda, Stoffel Vandoorne is expected to drop at least 15 places on the grid for round 4 of the 2017 season, the Russian GP. Despite Honda introducing updates to their power unit for Russia, after a double retirement in Bahrain, Vandoorne continued Honda's woes in FP1 and was forced to finish the session early. In order to get the Belgian out for the second session of the weekend, Honda changed the entire power unit in he back of the MCL32. However this meant that the team used their 5th MGU-H and Turbocharger of the season. Each team has a limit on certain components they are allowed to use each season and McLaren-Honda are already suffering at the 4th event of the year. – McLaren-Honda still struggling:(. •~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~ #formula1 #formulaone #f1 #race #racing #grandprix #cars #motorsport #formule1 #car #mclarenhonda #mclaren #stoffelvandoorne

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However, that meant a fifth MGU-H and turbocharger for the Belgian racer, and that comes with a 15-place grid penalty.

"We had some engine problems again during practice one – MGU-K related – so it just meant we had to replace the engine and we're going to have a 15-place grid penalty this weekend," he said.

"I think it was just a matter of time before we were going to have a penalty.

"We know the start of the season was difficult for us with quite a few reliability issues. 

"Unfortunately it happened again today, so we just have to move on and try to make the most of the rest of the weekend." 

He added: This is the situation how it is at the moment, there's not much we can do about it and hopefully some improvements will come soon." 

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