Jenson Button’s 25-place penalty is further evidence that Formula One is disappearing up its own exhaust pipe

Button proves F1's insanity

A combination of arcane rules and Honda's spluttering engines have produced two of the most absurd punishments ever handed out in Formula One.

McLaren-Honda's two drivers, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, will both start the Austrian Grand Prix with 25-place grid penalties, even though there are only 20 cars taking part.

They are being punished for engine changes. But it is not as simple as that. The FIA handed out a sheet 'explaining' the decision in language that went beyond jargon into impenetrable technical gobbledegook.

Its conclusion read: 'A sixth TC, sixth MGU-H, fifth ICE and fifth MGU-K have been used by car 22. This is a breach of Article 28.4 a).

'In accordance with Article 28.4 c) a 10 grid penalty is imposed. As this is the first time a sixth power unit element has been used. A further five grid penalty is imposed for the MGU-H as this is the first time a sixth of any of the remaining elements have been used.

'Two five grid position penalties are also imposed for the ICE and MGU-K as this if the first time a fifth of any of the remaining elements have been used.'

It could not be more inaccessible if it had been written in Ionic Greek.

This reinforces the notion that Formula One is disappearing up its own exhaust pipe. As Alonso said: 'People want to see real racing, not too many complex things: engine tokens, DRS, saving your tires.

'These rules are made by top engineers and mathematicians — but grandmas at home don't care about these things.'

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