Hartley to start French GP from back of grid

Image by Glenn Dunbar/LAT

Hartley to start French GP from back of grid

Formula 1

Hartley to start French GP from back of grid

Brendon Hartley will have to start the French Grand Prix from the back of the grid as a result of a power unit penalty after a failure on Friday.

Toward the end of FP2, Hartley was told to pull off the track and stop in a safe place by his Toro Rosso team, with a reliability issue ending his session. After investigations by Honda overnight, it was decided that Hartley will need a new power unit for the rest of the weekend, with the change bringing a grid penalty.

Honda has installed a complete new power unit — comprising the internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K, control electronics and energy store — of which all components exceed the maximum allowed for each driver this season. Only three of the ICE, turbocharger and MGU-H are permitted, but Hartley is now on the fourth of each component, while two of the remaining items are meant to last the season but the New Zealander has taken his third of each.

After a change to regulations following excessive grid penalties last season, the change necessitates Hartley to start the from the back of the grid.

The new engine installed in Hartley’s car is Honda’s upgraded power unit, which showed a good step forward in terms of performance in Canada but also suffered a reliability issue in Pierre Gasly’s car ahead of qualifying in Montreal two weeks ago.

-Chris Medland

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