McLaren has fitted Carlos Sainz’s Formula 1 car with a whole new power unit ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

An ignition wiring failure during qualifying caused a sudden loss of power on Sainz’s MCL34 and prevented him from setting a time in Q1.

With Sainz set to start Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix from the back of the Interlagos grid anyway, McLaren has decided to carry out a full engine change.

The Woking squad has fitted a new internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger (TC), motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H), motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), energy store (ES) and control electronics (CE) for the race in Sao Paulo.

Sainz will take no extra penalty assuming McLaren does not make changes to the specification of his car, which would result in a pitlane start.

“It’s maximum attack I guess,” Sainz said after qualifying.

“Obviously maximum attack doesn’t always work with Pirelli tyres so it will be a compromise between managing the tyres and going maximum attack.

“It’s probably a very difficult thing to do but somehow you must always find a way.

“We’ve seen some trends this year in some tracks that there are some certain types of corners where we are not very strong, and probably this track has many of those types of corners,” he added.

“That’s why our relative performance drops depending on track-to-track. It doesn’t mean that we cannot make it back to the points, it just means it will probably be a lot tougher.”

Barring Charles Leclerc’s 10-place grid drop for an engine change on his Ferrari, there are no other engine-related penalties in Brazil.

 

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