Honda has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will end up with a 60-place grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix, following his latest engine change.

The Spaniard has had a frustrating weekend, after suffering two unrelated problems with the new specification powerunit that Honda has introduced at Spa-Francorchamps.

He had a take a second fresh unit for second free practice, and another new one had to be fitted after he suffered a problem in qualifying.

Honda has decided to replace the internal combustion engine, the turbocharger, the MGU-K and the MGU-H for Sunday, which means a 25-place penalty added to the 35-place penalty he had originally.

The extra penalty will, however, make no difference to his starting position as he will have the final slot on the grid because he failed to set a time in qualifying.

Despite the frustration, Alonso said that the speed shown by Honda's new engine had actually left him encouraged.

“It has been a good weekend in terms of performance,” he said. “I think the engine showed today what the car can do – with a very good qualifying, very strong qualifying.

“With FP3, the only session I did, I was P10 and I was a little bit surprised knowing the nature of the circuit. So definitely a good step forward.

“I also read last year we were 3.7 seconds off pole position, today we are 1.3. So the progress is just amazing because it is not the other cars didn't improve, they did improve as well, so that is very good news looking for next year.

“But probably it will be a record penalty number – which is always at least one thing we are on top of!!”

The current record penalty for a driver is 70 places – which Jenson Button got at last year's Mexican Grand Prix following a series of engine changes.


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