Verstappen calls for review of F1 engine penalty rules after crashes

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Honda revealed on Thursday that Verstappen’s second engine of the year could no longer be used due to the damage sustained in the crash with Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone.

It means the Red Bull driver looks bound to take a grid drop at one of the remaining races this year after already moving onto his third and final engine of the season in Hungary. A new engine would result in a 10-place grid penalty.

Any penalty would be particularly costly for Verstappen, who trails Mercedes rival Hamilton by just eight points at the top of the drivers’ championship.

Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, faces a similar situation after Honda found his engine was also damaged beyond repair as a result of the Turn 1 crash in Hungary before the summer break.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, collides with Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, at the start

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, collides with Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, at the start

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Team boss Christian Horner expressed his frustration over the situation in Hungary, pointing out how the engines had been lost through no fault of Red Bull or Honda.

Speaking to Dutch media ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Verstappen said the penalty system was something he thought F1 would “need to have a look at in the future”, believing it was unfair that drivers lost engines because of crashes they did not cause.

“If someone crashes into you, and you suffer damage from that and you need to take an extra engine because of the regulations, I don’t think that’s how it should be,” Verstappen said.

“There should be a bit more leeway there. You could also do it like if there is damage caused by someone else, you are allowed to take new parts.

“This is something we, but also Ferrari, have suffered from in Hungary. They also lost an engine.

“This is something we need to have look at, especially when you are so limited with engines and all the other parts, and with a budget cap as well.”

Ferrari revealed after Hungary that Charles Leclerc’s engine had been irreparably damaged in the Turn 1 incident, leaving him also set for a penalty in the second half of the season.

Team principal Mattia Binotto called for a change to the rules that would see rivals pay for crash damage they cause after saying the incident with Leclerc’s car left Ferrari with a €2.5 million repair bill.

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Asked by Autosport for his thoughts on that idea, Verstappen felt it would make drivers “more responsible for the first lap of the race”.

“It would stop people from doing stupid things, as they would know it could impact their team and ultimately themselves,” Verstappen said.

“It’s something we need to take a look at in Formula 1. Ferrari has of course also pointed this out. So we’ll see what comes out of it.”

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