Alonso joins list of drivers starting at the back of the grid

Russian Grand Prix – Fernando Alonso has become the latest driver to be handed a ‘back of the grid’ starting position after taking new power units for the race in Sochi.

The McLaren driver has become the fifth driver to be handed the punishment following the news that both Red Bull and Toro Rosso drivers will start at the back.

All five drivers – Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly – have been allocated new V6 internal combustion engines, turbos, MGU-Hs and MGU-Ks.

Added to this, Verstappen, Alonso and Hartley have been given fresh control electronics, and Verstappen and Alonso have new energy stores.

The drivers will start in the order they first used their new power units, meaning Fernando Alonso will start in 16th place after Lando Norris – who was driving Alonso’s car in FP1 – emerged from the pit lane first.

The order of positions 17 – 20 will be Ricciardo, Verstappen, Gasly and Hartley, unless any other penalties are applied this weekend.

Having used the ‘spec C’ Renault power unit in the last couple of Grand Prix weekends Red Bull have reverted back to ‘spec B’ over fears about reliability.

McLaren are not believed to be using the updated power unit, due to them favouring the reliability in their battle for places in the constructors’ championship contest.

Toro Rosso, meanwhile, are taking Honda upgrades in bid to increase performance.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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