Monza grid hit by plethora of penalties

Former world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button and Australian Daniel Ricciardo are among six drivers hit with a plethora of penalties on the grid for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Button, the 2009 champion, and Alonso, a two-time champion, line up 15th and 16th on the 20-car grid.

The McLaren duo are ahead of Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull, with Ricciardo of Red Bull and Dutch teenager Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso filling the back row.

The two Manor Marussia drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi start from 13th and 14th places.

At the other end world champion Lewis Hamilton starts on pole as the Mercedes driver aims for his seventh win in 12 races this season.

In total the stewards gave 168 grid position penalties, mostly for engine changes, but in Verstappen’s case, he was demoted to last because he also failed to clock a time during Saturday’s qualifying session.

None of the six drivers at the back of the grid received their full penalties. In Ricciardo’s case, he faced a 50-places penalty for multiple engine changes.

He escaped the imposition of a full penalty following a rule change earlier this season by the sport’s ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA).

The only non-technical grid penalty was awarded to Marcus Ericsson of Sauber.

The Swede was handed a three-place drop for blocking German Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India during qualifying. He starts 12th after qualifying 10th and re-gained a place thanks to Sainz’s penalties.

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