Alonso: 105-place grid penalty deserves a cake

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Fernando Alonso joked that McLaren should have been given a congratulatory cake for its record-breaking 105-place grid penalty at the Belgian Grand Prix.

A double engine change for the Spaniard and teammate Jenson Button meant the two drivers will be moved back 55 and 50 places respectively for Sunday's race.

But a new regulation introduced after the Austrian Grand Prix means that any unused part of the drivers' punishment that cannot be used will simply be forgotten.

Speaking about the situation, Alonso said: "We should have a cake or something – I think it is a world record!"

Still a punishment

Although the scale of the 105-place drop has drawn criticisms from some quarters, Button said it was actually irrelevant how big the punishment was, as being at the back of the grid was bad enough.

"It is 105 but it is just a number because we start at the back of the grid," he said. "It doesn't mean anything.

"I think the regulation is fair that if you have the penalties you start at the back, because starting at the back is a bigger penalty for us than it is for the cars at the front if they start at the back.

"So it is fair for everyone the way the regulation is now."

Common sense

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes that the new system – where unused penalties were not turned in to drive-throughs – was better.

"I think in any regulated system as long as you have penalties there is always the question of, is it fair or not?" he explained.

"There is a system which is supposed to penalise the non-reliability of your power unit and you can question if it is fair or not.

"There was a system that was nicely designed by the engineers with a lot of points and places, and grid positions and whatever. We had some common sense which was at least to not start the race with a stop and go.

"Instead we just limit the damage to the back of the grid which is just common sense.

"But after there is more than grid positions [lost] I don't care because at the end you start from the back of the grid."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Belgian GP
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Jenson Button , Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news