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Penalty Festival at McLaren: Button has to return 70 starting places

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McLaren punishment festival
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J enson button didn't know the answer. When asked by a reporter how many starting positions he was moving back because of the numerous engine changes, the Englishman shrugged his shoulders. A McLaren employee helped out. It's 70. For two new engines, new turbochargers, MGU-K and MGU-H.

Despite the many new parts, the problems in the Honda warehouse did not stop. Button's third training session ended after 4 laps. In the qualification he watched. The technicians were unable to resolve the misfire problems. 'We suspect a defective sensor, but we don't know for sure,' race director Yasuhisa Arai had to admit two and a half hours after the end of the final training session.

Button will therefore be placed on the first of the two new engines from the first training session on Friday To fall back on. So engine number 10. But it still needs a new turbocharger and new electric machines. That added to his penalty account. Fernando Alonso, on the other hand, is almost an orphan. He 'only' has to go back 15 places for the eleventh engine and a new transmission.

Alonso sees positive McLaren trend

The McLaren drivers took their places on the back row with humor . 'We have the fewest problems at the start. For us, like in Sochi, things can only go forward. In the middle of the field, the long run into Turn 1 will certainly be uncomfortable. I would be worried now on grid positions 7 to 15,' scoffed Alonso.

Despite the unfavorable starting position, the Spaniard could not be denied his optimism. 'The winding sectors in Mexico have confirmed what we saw in Austin. The aerodynamics are going in the right direction. The engine is also getting better now. I would say: the trend is right.' The Spaniard also warned: 'The next four months will be the most important time.' He expects McLaren and Honda to find two and a half seconds.

Team principal Eric Boullier does not want to write off points. In Sochi, too, nobody believed the McLaren had a chance, and then Button finished ninth. 'The biggest problem in the race will be reliability. The brakes and cooling are at their limit for everyone. There could be a lot of failures.' McLaren just has to make sure that you don't count yourself.

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