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Grid penalty for Button

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 27-05-2017 skysports.com
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Jenson Button is set to start the Monaco GP at the back of the grid after being handed a 15-place grid penalty due to changes to his Honda power unit. 

The news comes as a huge blow to McLaren and Button, who is making a one-off return to Formula 1 this weekend by standing in for Fernando Alonso.

It is also another reliability failure for the much-maligned Honda, who claim the MGU-H and turbocharger had to be changed after detecting an issue following Thursday's second practice session.

As both the new MGH-H and turbocharger are the fifth elements of the year to be used on that car, with Button having inherited Alonso's four-per-car limit for 2017, Button will almost certainly start the Monaco GP at the back of the field.

"It's awful for him and for McLaren as well," McLaren boss Eric Boullier said. "It was not expected at all."

While Alonso impressively qualified seventh in Spain, his last race before his Indianapolis 500 attempt, it has been a nightmare campaign for McLaren-Honda, the only team without a 2017 championship point.

And though the MCL32 looked more comfortable in practice around a narrow street circuit which somewhat negates Honda's lack of power, the latest penalty means points are highly unlikely this weekend. Stoffel Vandoorne is already serving a three-place grid penalty thanks to a collision with Felipe Massa in Barcelona.

As for Button, the 2009 world champion who described his return in Monaco as a "dream", the latest reliability failure is the last thing he would have wanted having seamlessly adjusted back to life in F1.

"It's soul-destroying for Button," said Sky F1's Paul di Resta. "When is there going to be light at the end of this tunnel?"

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