Pierre Gasly will take a power unit penalty at the Canadian Grand Prix as Honda wants the Frenchman to race with its updated engine.
Gasly had been running the upgraded power unit during practice, but when he reported a loss of power at the end of FP3 Honda reverted to an older specification for qualifying while the issue was investigated.
With Gasly only able to qualify in 16th place after missing out on a spot in Q2 by less than 0.1s, and with Romain Grosjean not setting a time in qualifying, Honda has taken the opportunity to take a number of new components with a minimal grid drop.
“Having reverted back to the older PU on Gasly’s car before qualifying, we are changing it for another unit prior to today’s race,” Honda said on Twitter. “The team based this decision on his grid position and future PU allocation plans. Penalties mean he starts at the back of the grid.”
Gasly takes a fourth new ICE, turbo and MGU-H, and a third new MGU-K, which results in the FIA demoting him to the back of the grid. However, the Toro Rosso driver will start from 19th on the grid with Grosjean permitted to start from last having not made it out on track in qualifying.
Grosjean himself has taken a new turbocharger, MGU-H and control electronics after his power unit issue in qualifying yesterday, but they are all within his permitted allocation of components.
After qualifying, Gasly said the ability to compare the new specification of power unit with the old one he was running on Saturday highlighted the progress Honda has made with its upgrade. The power unit plays a significant role in Canada, with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve a power-sensitive track.