Verstappen and Perez’s Honda engines irreparable after crash damage

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Verstappen was involved in a high-speed crash at Silverstone after colliding with title rival Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the race, leading to concerns about the state of his engine.

Initial checks by Honda suggested that it would be fine to continue using, only for an inspection after qualifying in Hungary to prompt Red Bull to fit Verstappen with his third and final engine of the season. 

The race in Hungary brought yet more engine concerns for Red Bull after Perez was involved in a multi-car incident at the first corner that left his car with significant damage.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said after the race in Hungary that it looked like Perez’s engine was too damaged to be used again, saying: “Initial reports are it will no longer be in service.” 

Honda confirmed this news on Thursday ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, as well as revealing that Verstappen’s second engine from Silverstone was also beyond repair.

Perez is therefore set to move onto his third and final engine of the season ahead of this weekend at Spa.

With both drivers now onto their final engine, it means that penalties look likely for both Red Bull drivers entering the second half of the season, with a possible 12 races remaining in the 2021 campaign.

Asked by Autosport after the race in Hungary if there was any hope of seeing out the season without a fourth engine for either driver, Horner said there was “very little”.

Valtteri Bottas clattered into Sergio Perez at the first corner of the Hungarian GP

Valtteri Bottas clattered into Sergio Perez at the first corner of the Hungarian GP

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“That’s hugely frustrating for Honda because it’s not due to reliability, it’s because of accidents that we haven’t caused,” Horner said.

“So they’re feeling the brunt of this as well as we are on the chassis side.”

Any grid penalty would have a particular impact on Verstappen as he goes head-to-head with Hamilton for this year’s F1 drivers’ championship. Verstappen currently sits eight points off the lead in the standings.

Verstappen said on Thursday in Belgium that he had “no idea” where he would take a new engine at the moment.

“We are looking where, if necessary, we will take a new engine,” Verstappen said.

“I can’t say anything about that now. We don’t know yet.”

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