Austrian GP: McLaren's Jenson Button gets 25-place grid penalty

Jenson Button
Both Jenson Button and team-mate Fernando Alonso have now been penalised due to engine replacements
Austrian Grand Prix
Venue: Spielberg Dates: 19-21 June
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McLaren driver Jenson Button has been hit with a 25-place grid penalty for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.

The sanction is the result of engine supplier Honda changing Button's power unit and further exceeding the number of permitted alterations.

Team-mate Fernando Alonso had already been hit with a 20-place penalty.

And on Saturday the Spaniard learned he will also have a 25-place penalty in total when his car suffered a problem that required a new gearbox.

Alonso and Button qualified 15th and 17th so will be unable to serve the full penalties in terms of a grid drop.

The rules dictate that as a result in the opening laps of Sunday's race Alonso will have to serve a drive-through penalty and Button a 10-second stop-and-go.

Button, 35, world champion in 2009, was also demoted in the last race in Canada.

Both Red Bull drivers - Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat - will also be handed 10-place grid penalties for changing engine parts. Ricciardo will take an additional time penalty as he only qualified 14th.

There is a sliding scale of in-race punishments depending on how many positions of a grid penalty a driver has been unable to serve because of his qualifying slot.

Inside F1 - Austria practice and Red Bull future

McLaren have taken the penalty in Austria as they expect it to be one of their least competitive races.

They did not want to be punished at one of the next two races, the British and Hungarian Grands Prix, which they expect to better suit their car.

The McLaren chassis is relatively strong but Honda is struggling in its first season back in F1 since 2008 and its power unit is under-powered and unreliable.

The longer corners of Silverstone, McLaren's home race, and the twisty nature of the Hungaroring will help the car counterbalance some of the engine's deficiencies more effectively than at Austria's Red Bull Ring, which is predominantly short corners and long straights.

Spaniard Alonso, world champion in 2005 and 2006, expects more penalties as the season progresses.

"We have to sacrifice some weekends," said the 33-year-old. "This is one, and there are more to come, but if we learn things that will be very useful it's OK."

The team have already had a difficult weekend, with a series of reliability issues curtailing running in Friday practice with a new aerodynamic package being used by Alonso.

He said the new package, which features a shorter nose and revised front and rear wings, was promising but he needed more time to fully assess it.

Andrew Benson's Austrian GP guide
Austria proved a popular event when it returned to the calendar in 2014 after an absence of 11 years, and not just because it was a rare 'new' event in Europe.
The Red Bull Ring is a far cry as a track from its magnificent, spellbinding forerunner, the Osterreichring, from which it has been adapted, but it's an entertaining little circuit on which to hold a grand prix.
The layout lends itself to good racing, there are a couple of decently-challenging fast-ish corners to challenge the drivers.
Then there's the location - the track is perched on a hillside in the glorious Styrian mountains. And the viewing is excellent, too, with much of the track visible from many places.
Add in a capacity crowd of often boisterous local fans, and a party atmosphere generated by owners/organisers/local sponsors Red Bull and it makes for a fun all-round weekend.

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