Russian GP: McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne given 15-place grid penalty

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
stoffel vandoorne
Follow the Russian Grand Prix across BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC Sport website and mobile app.
Russian Grand Prix on the BBC
Dates: 28-30 Apr Venue: Sochi Autodrom
Coverage: Practice, qualifying on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (second practice online only). Race live on BBC Radio 5 live. Live text commentary, leaderboard and imagery on BBC Sport website and app.

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne will be given a 15-place grid penalty at the Russian Grand Prix.

Honda is fitting a new engine to the Belgian's car after a failure in first practice at Sochi on Friday.

The Belgian is now on his fifth turbocharger and fifth heat motor generator unit (MGU-H) in three races.

The rules allow each driver four power units, made up of six separate elements, to last the full 20 round season.

Russia is the fourth grand prix of a 20-race season, reflecting the trouble Honda finds itself in with reliability.

The MGU-H is the part of the hybrid engine system which recovers energy from the turbo.

Honda said Vandoorne suffered a suspected failure of the MGU-K, which recovers energy from the rear axle, in first practice in Bahrain.

This meant Honda needed to change the engine and the company is fitting an entirely new internal combustion engine, turbo, MGU-H and MGU-K in the hope of getting him out for second practice.

The energy store and control electronics were not changed.

Vandoorne is in this trouble with engine penalties because he suffered three separate MGU-H failures at the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Team-mate Fernando Alonso, who also suffered an MGU-H failure in Bahrain, is on his third MGU-H and turbo in Russia and is also likely to suffer engine-related grid penalties later in the season.

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