Only hours before the Hungarian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen was forced to switch engines.
Behind Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen qualified third for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen will not be penalized for switching engines for the Hungarian Grand Prix. In qualifying this season, Verstappen and Hamilton have been neck-and-neck on numerous occasions.
After capturing pole in four consecutive races in recent weeks, the Dutchman had showed that extra bit of speed in qualifying.
However, catastrophe struck at the British Grand Prix when Hamilton collided with Verstappen on the first lap, resulting in the Red Bull driver’s race being ended by a devastating crash into the wall.
Mercedes and Red Bull then exchanged barbs in a verbal spat.
Hamilton and Bottas, on the other hand, had the last laugh in qualifying on Saturday, as Mercedes secured their first pole since the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton has won the Hungarian Grand Prix eight times in his career, making it one of his most successful tracks.
In qualifying, Verstappen was about a half-second slower than Hamilton, with Sergio Perez a full second slower than the pole-sitter.
Following the incident in Silverstone, Red Bull expressed concern over Verstappen’s engine.
Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1’s technical director, said on Friday that Verstappen’s PU was “not suffering any bad consequences after the Silverstone crash.”
However, after qualifying on Saturday, they’ve clearly changed their minds.
Since then, a problem with Verstappen’s car has been discovered, and his engine has been replaced.
Honda Racing F1 verified the news on Twitter, claiming that the problem could be related to the incident at Silverstone last month.
“During post-qualifying tests, we found something on Max’s PU that we believe developed over the weekend, most likely as a result of the Silverstone crash,” they stated.
“As a result, we replaced it with a new PU that meets the same specifications.
“According to the rules, Max is permitted to start from the third position on the grid without incurring a penalty.”
In the Drivers’ Championship standings, Verstappen is still eight points ahead of Hamilton.