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Honda: 'Risk was too big to not replace engine for Verstappen'

Honda: 'Risk was too big to not replace engine for Verstappen'

02-08-2021 12:47 Last update: 14:35


It is not going well for Red Bull Racing. Two races in a row now Max Verstappen is the victim of a crash in the race. The question is whether Red Bull Racing can get away with three engines this season.

The rule in Formula 1 is that teams can replace the engines in their cars three times without a penalty. After this replacement, a grid penalty is given. Verstappen is now in danger of receiving a grid penalty towards the end of the year after the engine change on Saturday night.

On Motorsport-Total.com Christian Horner said that avoiding a grid penalty is probably out of the question. "[The chance] is very small, unfortunately. And that's extremely frustrating." Indeed, the replacement of the engines was necessitated by the crashes Verstappen was a victim of, not reliability issues. Sergio Perez is also likely to have to replace his second engine after the accident in Hungary.

Engine changed after qualifying

The website also spoke with Toyoharu Tanabe. The Honda director explained why Verstappen's power unit had to be changed after qualifying after the team had given the green light on Friday.

"After qualifying, we checked the engine. Even before that we checked everything, there was nothing wrong. But after qualifying, we found cracks and oil leaking. We couldn't read that from the data. The risk would have been too great for the 70 race laps on Sunday, so the drive was replaced. We were lucky at the time."

Is the engine lost now, or can it be used again in the future? "We don't know yet. We'll send the power unit to Sakura to check the cracks," Tanabe said.

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