Austrian Grand Prix | Engine penalty ‘inevitable’ for Max Verstappen according to Red Bull

Austrian Grand Prix | Engine penalty ‘inevitable’ for Max Verstappen according to Red Bull
Austrian Grand Prix | Engine penalty ‘inevitable’ for Max Verstappen according to Red Bull

Max Verstappen signed his seventh victory in ten meetings this season on Sunday, he leads the championship with a comfortable lead but the threat continues to become clearer for him and Red Bull. The competition is more and more pressing and he is not immune to problems coming from his own machine.

He did not have the best machine on Sunday at the Spanish Grand Prix – by his own admission – and the Lando Norris – McLaren duo almost put him in check. He escaped with his knowledge of driving and the wise strategy of his team, but he is now on borrowed time because Honda installed a new power unit in its RB20 on Saturday, the fourth of the season, the maximum authorized quota.

A 5th engine probably necessary

Indeed, the driver of the Red Bull n°1 had experienced a problem in Montreal with the turbo energy recuperator (MGU-H) during free practice 1 on his third engine of the season, just installed, revealed Auto , Motor and Sport. Honda had given him an old block and Red Bull had minimized the consequences of the incident, which was ultimately more serious than expected. Because the Austrian team today admits that it doubts whether it will be able to reuse this number 3 engine because of the damage that occurred.

We have to see how it goes but I think it is inevitable that he will take an extra engine“, team director Christian Horner told the Dutch site GPBlog.com on Sunday. “Super Max” would only have three power units left to make the last 14 Grands Prix, with four of them (Spielberg this weekend then Austin, Sao Paulo and Lusail) a sprint race on the program.

Climbing a fifth block will cost Max Verstappen five places on the starting grid for the Grand Prix in question. Red Bull still has room to decide on the least impactful circuit to take this penalty. A route where overtaking is preferably easy, like at Spa (July 28) or Monza (September 1).

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