Jenson Button is probably getting pretty sick of the McLaren Honda F1 garage right now. He spent most of Friday and Saturday in it due to more problems with the troublesome Honda power unit in Mexico.
He failed to complete much running in practice at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and had to miss qualifying altogether, because the team was not able to prepare his car in time for the session after a misfire in FP3. Button’s reliability issues have caused him to pick a record he won’t be proud to hold.
The 2009 world champion now has a 70-place grid penalty for today’s Mexican Grand Prix, the most in F1 history. But, how did he pick up so many penalty positions?
Well, McLaren changed his engine to the new ‘phase four’ unit for FP1, resulting in a 25-place penalty. The same components were then changed again for FP2, boosting his tally to 50. After his FP3 problems, the team then reverted back to the FP1 unit but changed to a new turbocharger, control electronics and MGU-H, resulting in his 70 place penalty. Pretty ridiculous.
But why is the Honda power unit so bad? Check out our tech-filled piece on that very subject here.