TOUGH START: McLaren will use new engines at the 2015 Belgian GP, meaning Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will start at the back of the grid. Image: AP / Tom Boland
LONDON, England - It will be a long and tiring 2015 Belgian GP (August 22-22) for McLaren-Honda mechanics.
It was already known that, as Honda has traded in some of its upgrade 'tokens', both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will have to take grid penalties in order to use the new power unit at Spa-Francorchamps.
But now it emerges that each driver will actually use not one but two new engines each this weekend in Belgium - one on Friday (August 21), and then an entirely new one each on Saturday.
McLaren team boss Eric Boullier told Auto Motor und Sport: "We are increasing our pool of engines that we can use in the next races, as we can only be punished once (here)."
Indeed, after the farcical situation earlier this year when drivers began serving grid penalties but then also additional mid-race penalties for long-life engine rule infractions, the FIA changed tack.
McLaren posted a picture of Alonso on Twitter at the famous Eau Rouge corner:
Now, as Boullier explains: "You cannot start further back (on the grid) than the very back, so why not replace the engine twice?
"We take the punishment on a track that will not hurt us as much as Hungary or Singapore."
Boullier said that even though the upgrades are debuting this weekend in Belgium, they will better suit the MP4-30 package on forthcoming lower-speed circuits.