Vandoorne: Penalty was a matter of time

Date published: April 29 2017

Facing his first engine penalty of this season at round four of the campaign, Stoffel Vandoorne says it was “just a matter of time” given Honda’s reliability woes.

Vandoorne complained of “no power” in the closing minutes of Friday’s first practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

Honda believed that the problem stemmed from the MGU-K and did a complete engine change between the sessions.

However, that meant a fifth MGU-H and turbocharger for the Belgian racer, and that comes with a 15-place grid penalty.

“We had some engine problems again during practice one – MGU-K related – so it just meant we had to replace the engine and we’re going to have a 15-place grid penalty this weekend,” he said.

“I think it was just a matter of time before we were going to have a penalty.

“We know the start of the season was difficult for us with quite a few reliability issues.

“Unfortunately it happened again today, so we just have to move on and try to make the most of the rest of the weekend.”

He added: This is the situation how it is at the moment, there’s not much we can do about it and hopefully some improvements will come soon.”