McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso have been hit with more engine-related penalties even before the Italian Grand Prix weekend gets underway.
The pair, who accumulated in excess of 100 places of penalties between them over the Belgian Grand Prix two weekends ago, will have to surpass previous qualifying efforts if they are to avoid starting at the back of the grid once again, with Button already taking a five-place punishment and Alonso ten places ahead of the final European race of 2015.
McLaren was not expecting much from Monza given the Autodromo Nazionale's high-speed nature, but would have hoped to have been able to start from where it qualified, especially after introducing four brand new engines at Spa-Francorchamps – and suffering the associated penalties. However, with further Honda V6s being wheeled out for the Italian weekend, it looks like being an even tougher event for the beleaguered Woking team.
To make matters worse, the new engines introduced in Belgium failed to improve on the troubled units that had been used over the first half of the year, with both MP4-30s still slower than their rivals and prone to unreliability. Button currently holds McLaren's best qualifying position of the season – with tenth at the more technical Monaco circuit – while Alonso's best stands at 13th, which he managed in both Spain and Canada. A repeat for the Spaniard at Monza would still see him relegated to the rear of the grid….
It isn't only Honda taking punishment at Monza, however, with the Renault-powered cars of Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz all being slapped with ten-place penalties for engine changes. All will be fitted with new units for the power-hungry Monza layout.