Alonso set for another engine change

There is good news and bad news for Fernando Alonso ahead of McLaren's home race, the British Grand Prix, this weekend.

The bad news is he faces yet another power unit change after Honda found that his engine sustained some damage from the collision with Kimi Raikkonen at the Red Bull Ring last time out.

However, on the flip side he will escape a grid penalty as the Japanese manufacturer will replace the damaged power unit with one that he used earlier this season.

McLaren are coming off a nightmare Austrian Grand Prix as Alonso and team-mate Jenson Button were each handed 25-place grid penalties for changing their power units.

Alonso's race then ended on the opening lap as Kimi Raikkonen smashed into him at Turn 2 with drivers forced to retire while Button also failed to see the chequered flag.

Honda's motorsport head Yasuhisa Arai has since confirmed that the damage to Alonso's engine was more serious than initially thought while they can't yet give an update about Button's situation.

"We have since completed thorough checks of both power units back at the factory, and we believe that Fernando's power unit has sustained damage from the accident, and it may be necessary to change the engine," he said.

"As for Jenson's power unit this weekend, the issue is still under investigation.

"Honda is not looking to put any hardware updates in place for the British Grand Prix, but we will optimise the power unit setting to the updated aero parts planned on the chassis. Silverstone is a classic technical high-speed circuit where the tyre degradation is high and it is tough on fuel."

Alonso, meanwhile, is feeling upbeat despite McLaren's current plight.

"We go to Silverstone this week feeling optimistic after two good test days in Austria. It was very positive that we were able to pass the 100-lap mark on the second day, and we’re really motivated to keep pushing into the next couple of grands prix before the summer break," he said.

"Silverstone is a very special race for the team, of course, and also a fantastic circuit to drive. It’s one of the fastest on the calendar, which also means it won’t be a circuit that will suit our car so well, but we’re still looking forward to the weekend and want to make the most of every session.

"The crash I had with Kimi in Austria was really unlucky, but we quickly put that behind us during testing and know that we’ll have some great support from the fans at the team’s home race."