FIA confirms no grid penalty for next Honda engine

Honda has been told by the FIA that there will be no grid penalty for the next power unit it uses, having sought clarification about a special engine dispensation handed to the Japanese car manufacturer.

As part of a raft of Formula 1 rule changes approved by the recent FIA World Motor Sport Council, it was agreed that new manufacturers would be allowed an extra power unit in their first year.

It was furthermore decided that as a one-off, Honda would also be allowed to have a free engine this year, so could use five instead of the four that other manufacturers have got.

However, the situation was complicated by the fact that Honda had already raced – and been penalised – for using its fifth engine at the Austrian Grand Prix.

FIA clarification

In light of the situation, Honda sought confirmation from the FIA about where it stood, and exactly what impact the new rule change had. 

A Honda spokeswoman had said: "We do not know the details of how we gain back the Austrian penalties, etc. We have to confirm the details going forward, now that the FIA has made its decision."

Sources have confirmed to Motorsport.com that the FIA has agreed there will be 'special dispensation' granted for Honda to take its free engine from now on, even though it has already used its fifth power unit.

Engine plan being sorted

Honda is now evaluating what impact that decision has on its plans for both the Hungarian Grand Prix and beyond.

In particular, it is decided whether or not to carry on with its current power units for now.

The Japanese manufacturer is holding fire on using any of its engine development tokens until after the summer break, so may feel that it is best it does not introduce its extra free engine just yet.

A final decision may not be made until the eve of first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news