Because Red Bull expects Mercedes to be penalized, Max Verstappen may have an advantage against Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes could face another penalty before the end of the season, according to Red Bull.
Red Bull are optimistic they will have an extra advantage this season after receiving a new engine ahead of the Russian Grand Prix. They expect major title opponent Lewis Hamilton to receive a new power unit as well.
Hamilton has now used three of his three permissible engines for the season, although he may choose to take a grid penalty in order to swap to a fourth.
Red Bull’s bet paid off in Sochi, as Verstappen stormed from 20th on the grid to second, minimising the points damage caused by Hamilton’s victory.
Mercedes must assess their options with seven races remaining, with Red Bull chief Christian Horner sure Hamilton will have to make a change.
“We don’t have access to that type of information,” Horner stated after the race in Russia.
“But you’d think that with the number of Mercedes engines being replaced in sister cars and customer teams, there would be a penalty,” he says, “but obviously we can’t count on it.”
Bottas received his second consecutive grid penalty in Sochi, in what Mercedes described as a “tactical chance” to keep Verstappen at the rear of the line, as the Finn entered the race with a new power unit.
Mercedes’ strategy didn’t work out, as Verstappen blew by Bottas on his way to a second-place podium finish, just behind Hamilton.
“I hope our information is correct,” Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko told Sky. Lewis will have to adjust even again, according to this. It takes a long time to go from last place on the grid to first place on the podium.
“The upcoming tracks will work in our favor, especially given the altitude in Brazil and Mexico. We need to win now, but we also need to feel strong enough to strike again.” Verstappen, meanwhile, was sure that he would have no more engine problems after being forced to replace his at the Russian Grand Prix owing to damage sustained at the British Grand Prix.
When Verstappen and Hamilton collided at 51G, the Dutchman speared into the tyre wall, causing massive damage to his Red Bull.
However, the 23-year-old is convinced that he will not face any more PU penalties this season.
“Brinkwire Summary News” says, “We’ll be good with this engine to the.”