McLaren-Honda has opted to take a second engine change of the weekend for both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button after exploiting an effective loophole following a change in penalty regulations.
Having already taken the hit of a 55 place grid penalty between its two drivers, McLaren-Honda is set to incur a further 50 grid position drops in theory (a total of 105) after both took a new ICE, while Alonso has an eighth turbocharger, an eighth MGU-H and a seventh MGU-K, and Button has a ninth turbocharger and eighth MGU-H.
Under regulations earlier in the season, the penalties would have been converted to time penalties in the race, but this was recently scrapped, meaning the harshest penalty it can face is starting at the back of the grid.
As such, having already been consigned to the back row due to the first wave of penalties, McLaren is capitalising on the change in regulations to put a second power unit in service. By doing this, it hopes it will be preventing itself from incurring a penalty at races in the future since it won't be changing it as 'new'.
The move to fit new power units come after Honda introduced a major upgrade using three of its in-season development tokens over the summer.
McLaren isn't the only team with penalties to incur this weekend, with Max Verstappen starting ten places further back as a result of an engine change, while Romain Grosjean has a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.