Alonso took the hit of a ten-place grid penalty last time out in Russia in order to test the new engine, which is said to boast another 20 horsepower, but there wasn’t enough time to build one for Button to use there, nor here in Austin.
"Normally when you're team mates you're on exactly the same spec," said Button, fresh from recent triathlon victory in Hermosa Beach, California. "But I'm hoping it is a good upgrade, that Fernando is really quick and that he annihilates me all weekend. It's unusual to say that, but in our situation it's about getting it on the car.”
McLaren chose to swallow the engine penalty for Alonso in Sochi, since the Circuit of The Americas is expected to better suit the characteristics of the team’s MP4-30 machine. Button will have the revised engine - and resulting grid drop - at next weekend’s race in Mexico.
With four rounds of the season remaining, just three points separate the McLaren drivers in the standings. Alonso is 16th on 11 points, with Button two places back on eight.