Alonso already has a 30-place grid penalty and its only Thursday

BY foxsports • September 29, 2016

McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso will take 30 places of power unit grid penalties in Malaysia as Honda introduces a new upgrade for this weekend.

The Spaniard has changed all power unit elements except the MGU-K. Honda says the revised engine has a lighter block, and an exhaust redesigned to improve efficiency.

Alonso says he has known for a while that he would face penalties at Sepang if Honda went through with its plan to introduce an upgraded spec, and that the priority was to avoid such a situation at the Japanese GP. The McLaren driver took a similar hit just three races ago at Spa, where he started 22nd and finished seventh.

"We had a let's say a plan from the middle of the season of where to introduce new engines," he said. "Obviously I lost one in Australia in the accident, we were on engine number two already in the second race, and we had some further problems. We knew these penalties will come.

"One of the best places was Spa, because of the condition of our engines at that point, and the second best possibility was Malaysia, because the weather could play a big factor in the race. And also Japan is the next race, our home Grand Prix, and we want to arrive there with some safety in terms of reliability.

"I'm ready to take the penalty. In Spa after four laps I was fifth, with many incidents, so you never know. We will start the weekend and the race optimistic about the chances of being in the points, and that's the target for both cars. Even if I start last hopefully we can recover places quite soon."

Alonso believes that McLaren can target being the fourth best team - and hence seventh place or better - in the remaining races of the season.

"Definitely that will be the target, to be in the points both cars, every single race, being in Q3 every single race. We know that this in some circuits is going to be tougher than the others, so it will depend circuit to circuit.

"But I think we have that possibility in our hands, even if sometimes we are not the fourth fastest like in Singapore, where in that case Toro Rosso was the fourth quickest team, with the starts, with the strategy, with the experience, we could still fight for this seventh place in the races. I think it's possible and it's our aim, to be always the fourth or fifth quickest team every single race, and in the race try to use our experience to be the fourth."

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