Photo: McLaren

Button Slapped with 35-Place Grid Penalty for Japanese GP

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Jenson Button is set to start last in the Japanese Grand Prix after taking a new power unit following qualifying.

Honda had introduced an upgraded power unit for McLaren-Honda teammate Fernando Alonso for the Malaysia Grand Prix last weekend, the same that Button was waiting until the United States Grand Prix for in hopes to avoid a grid penalty at Honda’s home race at Suzuka.

However, the 36-year-old Brit qualified a disappointing 17th and Honda decided the penalty is minimal and have upgraded Button’s power unit in order to have it available for the rest of the season.

The 2009 Formula 1 World Champion takes a complete new power unit – set with an internal combustion engine (ICE), MGU-H, MGU-K, turbo, energy store and control electronics – which is the sixth of each component. The first component carries a ten-place grid penalty, and each subsequent component carries a five-place grid penalty, resulting in 35-places in total.

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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