Italian Grand Prix – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly will both take grid penalties this weekend at Monza.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly will both take grid penalties this weekend at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, as they will run Honda’s new power unit.
Honda introduced their latest Specification 4 power unit ahead of last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, with Red Bull fitting Alex Albon with the new spec for practice on Friday. Toro Rosso elected to do the same with Daniil Kvyat, running the unit throughout the entirety of the Belgian weekend.
For Monza, both Red Bull Racing cars will be fitted with the new specification Honda unit. Alex Albon won’t take a grid penalty as he already took one last weekend when the unit was first fitted to his car. Max Verstappen, having not run the latest spec and having already reached his maximum permitted engine allocation for the year, will thus take a minimum of a five place grid drop. The exact amount of places will be revealed over the weekend, as it’s dependent on how many ancillary parts such as turbo, MGU-H, MGU-K or energy store might also be changed.
At Toro Rosso, it’s a pretty similar situation. Daniil Kvyat, having already run the new Honda engine, won’t take a grid drop, while Pierre Gasly will. Having inherited the engine pool of Alex Albon following the pair’s switch of teams over the summer break, Gasly has already used the maximum permitted engine allocation for the car and so will also take a minimum five place grid drop.
“From a PU point of view, the main development is that we plan to run the Spec 4 PU with all four drivers for the first time, after just Albon and Kvyat ran it in Belgium.” explained Honda’s Technical Director Toyohare Tanabe. “For their first race with Spec 4, Gasly and Verstappen will therefore take grid penalties and start from the back of grid, but we believe they can still race strongly on Sunday. We gathered useful data in Spa, which we have used to make changes to PU settings and calibration in preparation for this race. We will try to maximize the potential of Spec 4 and hope to get another positive result, maintaining the momentum we gained in Spa.”