Why Red Bull shouldn't take a grid penalty for the Italian GP

09-09-2021 08:00 | Updated: 09-09-2021 11:47
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Why Red Bull shouldn't take a grid penalty for the Italian GP

The Italian Grand Prix is just around the corner and that might be a good time to take a grid penalty. Where the grid penalty is normally deducted after qualifying, it will be different at Monza.

Penalty for Verstappen

Formula 1 has chosen to use a so-called sprint qualification during three race weekends this year. In this weekend you get a qualification on Friday, a sprint race on Saturday and the normal race on Sunday. However, this also has consequences for the way grid penalties are distributed.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing will have to find a suitable moment to put a brand new engine in the RB16B of Max. Monza is normally an excellent circuit for this, as it is a good place to overtake and Red Bull don't have the best credentials for this race. The question is whether they should want that for this edition.

Sprint race in F1

In general, if you replace your entire engine, you'll incur so many penalties that you'll always start from the back of the grid, even if you take pole in qualifying. With the sprint race this weekend, it would be a shame for Max to take that penalty, as the grid penalty only applies to the race.

This would mean that Verstappen could take pole in the sprint race with a good start, but would then be put back to the back of the grid on Sunday. He would then basically drive the sprint race for nothing. With the sprint race factor Max has a better chance of keeping the Mercedes drivers off pole than he did with qualifying alone.

Therefore, Red Bull would be wise to at least postpone the new engine until Russia. There Max has also proven in the past that you can overtake well, and then he doesn't have to deal with a sprint race that is in between qualifying and the race.

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