Verstappen Faces Inevitable Engine Penalty in 2024

Another setback has been dealt to Max Verstappen’s attempt to maintain his championship lead for the remainder of the unexpectedly very competitive 2024 season.

The Red Bull driver fitted his fourth and final engine before of the Spanish Grand Prix, something that went largely unreported in Barcelona. As a result, a penalty for eventually utilizing a fifth engine is now practically likely.

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This implies that Verstappen will lose ten positions on the grid if his next engine is installed, and any more new parts will result in a five-position penalty.

Team manager Christian Horner is cited by Speed Week as saying, “We have to see how we can best solve this,” but “it is inevitable that sooner or later we will have to install another engine and accept a penalty for it.”

The Canadian power unit has been returned to Japan for inspection, which is why we adopted the replacement engine, the Red Bull principal was also cited as stating in the sports publication Marca.

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The Canada unit was determined to be inoperable, according to the Spanish publication.

Given Red Bull’s admission that McLaren currently has the most versatile and reliable car in the field, grid-drop penalties are likely.

In his post-Spanish GP piece for Speed Week, Red Bull consultant Dr. Helmut Marko noted, “We arrived at the track on Friday with an unbalanced car and needed until qualifying to make it somewhat competitive.”

The extended runs on Friday clearly showed us that McLaren was far faster than us. Right now, they have a car that is essentially straightaway and compatible with all types of tires on all racetracks.

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This might provide a challenge for Red Bull at this weekend’s home Austrian Grand Prix, where the sprint race format necessitates sprint qualifying following a single practice session on Friday.

Marko also told the Osterreich newspaper this week, “It reminds me of last year, when McLaren’s upswing began in Austria.” There will also be another sprint race.

The sprint race will not go well for us if we perform poorly on Friday.