Honda will reportedly use its final four engine development tokens at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, with only Fernando Alonso racing the upgraded package.
The Japanese manufacturer and sole supplier of McLaren is continuing to struggle against its rivals for outright power, and whilst major steps forward aren’t expected until 2016 when a redesign of its hybrid components is introduced, Honda are hoping to make at least a small jump before the end of the season.
With a late decision to introduce the upgrade this weekend, Honda only have enough parts for one car, therefore Alonso will race the upgrade as his previous engine has amassed more mileage than team-mate Jenson Button’s.
The Spaniard will be hit with a 25-place grid penalty as a result of the engine change and will therefore start from the very back.
This will be Alonso’s tenth ICE, ninth MGU-H and MGU-K.