TOUGH LUCK: Fernando Alonso won't be smiling too much if he doesn't do well in qualifying for the 2015 Austrian GP as he faces a 20-place grid drop. Image: AFP / Greg Baker
SPIELBERG, Austria - McLaren's Fernando Alonso will have to serve a time penalty during Sunday's Austrian GP after starting from the back of the grid for exceeding his season's engine allocation.
The governing International Automobile Federation said on Friday (June 19) that the Spaniard would start with a new engine, his fifth in eight races, as well as his fifth turbocharger and fifth MGU-H (motor generator unit-heat) component.
The extra engine carries a 10-place penalty, the other items five-place penalties - a total grid drop of 20 places.
Depending on where he qualifies on Saturday, and with only 20 grid slots, any untaken places after the drop will be converted into time penalties.
Alonso, a double F1 champion who joined McLaren from Ferrari at the end of 2014, has yet to score a point after seven races with a team that started a partnership with Honda. He's remained optimistic, however. "In terms of performance," he said, "we expect a lot from the car in the next month or two so we will see how we end up at the end of the year.
"That will give us some hopes for 2016, let's say. It's the way it is...
"I see the resources, I see the talent of the team, so it's a question of when we become competitive. I hope we will make it very short, the learning period we are having - I'm optimistic."