“We have therefore changed it for a new PU”– Red Bull was forced to bring a last minute engine change for Max Verstappen.
Max Verstappen’s car took heavy damage in the Silverstone from the 51G crash, and it was expected that his engine might also have got some damage, but Honda gave clearance for this Grand Prix.
However, things now seem different, and Honda, on their social media, announced the power unit change in Verstappen’s car, which will be his third engine change of this year.
The Dutch race driver will be still starting from his P3 qualifying position, and after this, whenever he will change to a new engine, he would need to serve a grid penalty.
A statement from Honda said: “During post-qualifying checks, we noticed something on Max’s PU which might have developed over the course of the weekend, likely to be an after-effect of the Silverstone crash.
“We have therefore changed it for a new PU of the same specification. According to the regulations, Max is allowed to start from his third position on the grid with no penalty incurred.”
— Honda Racing F1 (@HondaRacingF1) August 1, 2021
Are Red Bull in trouble?
The Milton-Keynes team installed Verstappen’s second engine change ahead of the French Grand Prix, but the recent damage has apparently forced them to apply the third engine.
After the race in Hungary, there are still 12 races left in the season, and it is unlikely Red Bull will be able to complete all of them with one power unit, so a new engine would grant them a penalty, which may turn out decisive in the championship race between Red Bull and Mercedes.
Now, it remains to be seen how much Verstappen can extract from this new power unit.