Alonso set for engine penalty in Austria

McLaren Honda Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is set to take an engine penalty in the Austrian Grand Prix as McLaren braces itself for another tough Formula 1 weekend.

The Woking-based outfit has brought a major aerodynamic update to its car for this weekend's race at the Red Bull Ring in a bid to start making solid progress over the second half of the season.

The new developments include a short nose, revised wings, new floor and other bodywork tweaks. has learned that, with only one update package ready, Alonso has been chosen to run with the new components.

The thinking behind this decision is that Alonso is scheduled to test in Austria on Tuesday, so it makes more sense for him to evaluate the parts over the race weekend.

Furthermore, when the team had to choose a single car for new parts earlier in the season it was teammate Jenson Button who got it then.

Tactical engine change

Despite the hopes that the updates will produce a step forward, McLaren knows that the Austria weekend will not play to the strengths of its car.

That is why the team has confirmed it plans to make a tactical engine change for Alonso, which will likely result in him starting at the back of the grid.

It should ensure, however, that Alonso is better placed to capitalise on the potential offered by tracks coming up like Silverstone and the Hungaroring when there will be no risk of engine penalties.

McLaren is also evaluating whether or not Button will take an engine penalty change too, with a decision on that likely to be taken after Friday practice.

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