RACE ADVANTAGE? McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso will benefit from the team's new 'short-nose' in Austria. Image: AFP / Joe Klamar
SPIELBERG, Austria - Fernando Alonso will get the first use of McLaren's new 'short nose' concept this weekend (June 19-21) here but that isn't all good news for him as Honda-powered Red Bull prepares for the Red Bull Ring.
Heading into the event in picturesque Spielberg, team boss Eric Boullier warned that McLaren "might have to consider strategically implementing updates with the aim of improving reliability and performance".
It turns out this means Alonso will almost certainly plummet down Sunday's grid with a bunch of penalties because his car has been equipped with Honda upgrades to maximise his chances at forthcoming circuits better suited to the package.
As Alonso is already on his fourth engine of 2015, a Honda spokesperson admitted, "we're expecting grid penalties in Austria".
The good news for the 33-year-old is that, after team mate Jenson Button got the first look at bodywork updates earlier in 2015, it is now Alonso's car that will be fitted with the highly anticipated 'short nose' in Austria.
It's understood that Button will get the update at the British GP at Silverstone as only a single set of parts was ready.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Austrian GP this weekend.