Alonso: Baku power unit penalties 'likely'
19 June 2017 – McLaren driver Fernando Alonso is braced for power unit-related grid penalties at this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, amid Honda's ongoing reliability troubles.
Alonso entered the previous round in Canada on his sixth turbo and MGU-H, after stand-in Jenson Button's issues in Monaco, and was also on his fourth engine and MGU-K.
After another Honda failure in the closing stages of the race, which denied McLaren its first point of the season, Alonso says he expects to take penalties in Baku this weekend.
"After getting so close to scoring our first point in Canada and suffering another retirement, we go to Baku with even more determination, but it's no secret that we expect to find this weekend tricky," said Alonso.
"After the power unit issues it's likely we'll need to take penalties, and the nature of the narrow, fast straights and tight corners means overtaking is generally tough.
"However, it's certainly not impossible, and we'll keep fighting as we always do."
McLaren chief Eric Boullier echoed Alonso's sentiments.
"In Canada we were unable to fulfil any potential we showed, and we anticipate that in Baku we will face a similar challenge due to the demands this circuit's characteristics place on the car," he said.
"Nevertheless, in the midst of our current struggles, we aren't standing still.
"Quite the opposite, in fact, and the team's hunger and determination are stronger than ever to move us forward and into the hunt for more positive results.
"Rather than focus on the negatives, we need to turn our attention to solutions and work together to get the best out of our situation."
McLaren asserted that it would be "proactive" in its approach with Honda, following Alonso's failure in Canada, amid growing talk of a separation.