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Vandoorne set for Sochi grid drop

28 Apr 2017

Continued reliability problems with McLaren’s Honda power unit mean that Stoffel Vandoorne is expected to drop at least 15 places on the grid for Sunday’s 2017 Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Although Honda have introduced an updated MGU-H to their unit this weekend in a bid to resolve the issues that hampered them in Bahrain, Vandoorne hit MGU-K trouble in Friday morning’s opening practice in Russia.

In order to get the Belgian back on track for FP2, Honda opted to change the entire power unit in his MCL32, critically taking him onto his fifth MGU-H and fifth turbocharger of the year - at only the fourth round of the season.

Exceeding the limit of four components per season means that Vandoorne will be penalised 15 places (10 for the first extra component, five for the second) on wherever he qualifies for the Sochi race.