Stoffel Vandoorne's Q3 heroics undone by grid penalty

MONZA, Italy -- The grid penalty list for the Italian Grand Prix gained a seventh name on Sunday after McLaren confirmed an engine change for Stoffel Vandoorne.

Vandoorne was one of the stars of Saturday afternoon's qualifying, where he advanced to Q3 in the rain. However, his progress in the top-ten shootout was hampered by a loss of power in his Honda engine, meaning he finished 3.6s off the pace in 10th.

With both Red Bulls serving penalties -- for a mixture of engine and gearbox changes -- Vandoorne was set to move up to eighth on the grid. However, the Belgian is set to move towards the back of the order with a 25-place grid penalty, incurred after Honda made multiple component changes ahead of the race due to that issue encountered in the final session.

Honda has moved Vandoorne onto his 7th ICE and MGU-K and his 10th MGU-H and turbochargers, numbers which make pretty grim reading for the Japanese manufacturer over half way through its third season of the V6 turbo era. Though McLaren's significant power deficit meant Vandoorne was unlikely to move anywhere but backwards in the early stages of the race, it undoes his good work from Saturday afternoon and means he joins teammate Fernando Alonso at the rear end of the starting grid. Alonso has a 35-place grid penalty of his own after being given Honda's 3.7 spec upgrade.

Sunday morning's news means that, of the 20 drivers starting the grand prix, seven have a grid penalty. As well as the Red Bulls and Alonso, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz, as do Renault pair Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer.

Remarkably, none of them will start from the back of the grid despite the varying sizes of their penalties, with Haas' Romain Grosjean due to line up in 20th. The Frenchman triggered the lengthy delay in qualifying when he spun out in the rain, meaning he failed to set a Q1 time within the 107 percent required. He has been given permission to start the race, albeit from the back of the grid.

Before Vandoorne's penalty, the final seven spots of the provisional grid looked like this:

14th - Verstappen

15th - Hulkenberg

16th - Sainz

17th - Ricciardo

18th - Palmer

19th - Alonso

20th - Grosjean

Vandoorne should start ahead of Alonso if our calculations are correct (and there are no further penalties incurred before then) but the position will not be confirmed until 30 minutes before the race.

The slew of penalties had left a the prospect of a rather unusual quirk for Sunday's race, in that polesitter Lewis Hamilton and Grosjean were the only drivers set to start the race where they actually qualified on Saturday. Vandoorne's penalty has now ended the prospect of that oddity occuring, with his drop moving Sainz and Palmer back into the original positions they qualified on Saturday afternoon, despite their penalties.