Verstappen to join F1 title rival Leclerc at back of Belgian GP grid

Max Verstappen will join Formula 1 title rival Charles Leclerc at the back of the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix after power unit changes.

Verstappen to join F1 title rival Leclerc at back of Belgian GP grid

Verstappen said on Thursday at Spa that the leading teams would need to take power unit penalties at some point in the second half of the season due to changes, hinting at a future penalty.

Red Bull has decided to change all the elements on Verstappen’s power unit, giving him a fresh engine, turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K, energy store and control electronics.

It means Verstappen will join Leclerc at the rear of the field as Ferrari is set to fit a fifth fresh power unit of the season as well as a new gearbox.

As of the start of FP1, the team has only confirmed a change for an MGU-K and energy store, with the further changes set to follow.

It leaves both F1 title protagonists set to fight their way up on the order at one of the best tracks for overtaking, as well as aiding their chances of making it to the end of the year without further penalties.

Leclerc trails Verstappen by 80 points at the top of the drivers’ championship with nine races remaining, and admitted on Thursday it would be “very difficult” to claw his way back in the title battle.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Leclerc and Verstappen will be joined at the back of the field by Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas whose fresh power unit elements are also set to trigger penalties.

Read Also:

Norris and Ocon have both taken fresh engines, turbochargers, control electronics and MGU-Hs, while Ocon also has a new MGU-K and energy store on his power unit.

Alfa Romeo’s Bottas has taken a fresh engine, MGU-H and turbocharger, as well as a new gearbox that bumps him to the back. Haas driver Mick Schumacher also faces a grid drop for taking a new control electronics and gearbox.

Formal confirmation of the penalties is set to follow from the FIA later today.

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren goes aggressive on Spa F1 upgrades in straightline speed push
Previous article

McLaren goes aggressive on Spa F1 upgrades in straightline speed push

Next article

Russell to try new Mercedes F1 floor as porpoising questions remain

Russell to try new Mercedes F1 floor as porpoising questions remain
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023