Jenson Button

Honda receives fifth power unit for 2015 season

In wake of Wednesday’s Strategy Group meeting at Biggin Hill, McLaren-Honda have been granted an additional power unit without penalty for the remainder of the 2015 Formula One season.

To help level the playing field, the FIA said an extra power unit is allowed for any new manufacturer entering the sport. Although McLaren is a longtime team in F1, the rules will apply for Honda, who entered the sport in 2015 as
the Woking-based team’s power unit supplier.

The FIA said the following in a recent statement:

“Following the Austrian GP, an overhaul of the power unit penalties has been unanimously agreed and will be submitted to the F1 Commission via an express fax vote for an adoption at the World Motorsport Council in Mexico City next week, together with changes to the exhaust system that will improve engine noise for 2016.

“Furthermore, it was agreed to allow an extra power unit per driver in the first year to any new manufacturer entering the championship and, for the sake of fairness, the measure will apply retroactively to Honda for the 2015 season.”

This change in regulation comes after drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were given a 25-place grid penalty in Austria when both exceeded engine allocations by taking a fifth power unit. With only 20 drivers currently in F1, the penalty was laughable.

The rules divide the MP4-30’s power unit into six components – the internal-combustion engine, MGU-H, MGU-K, energy store, turbocharger and control electronics – that can be changed out individually.

When a driver breaks into the first of their extra power units with the introduction of any one of those components, they are penalized 10-places on the grid with a five-place drop for the subsequent components of that power unit.

The pattern continues with each subsequent extra power unit, but now both Button and Alonso will be able to introduce a complete set of components without penalty with courtesy to the rule change.

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Joey Barnes is the Founder 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, 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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