Hartley at back of grid, rain halts practice in France

Toro Rosso's New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley penalised over new engine parts

Le Castellet (France) (AFP) – Brendon Hartley will start Sunday’s French Grand Prix from the back of the grid after being handed a 35-place penalty on Saturday for taking a range of new engine parts.

 The under-pressure New Zealander had to stop his Honda-powered Toro Rosso car in the closing minutes of Friday’s second free practice session.

Honda on Saturday confirmed it fitted a new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, turbocharger, MGU-K, control electronics and energy store to his car, taking Hartley beyond his permitted limit.

Hartley was back in action on Saturday in a brief spell before heavy rainstorms hit the Le Castellet circuit bringing third free practice to a halt.

Swede Marcus Ericsson was also back in the fray after the scrutineers passed his replacement Sauber car as safe to run following his fiery crash on Friday.