The change of components in Verstappen’s powertrain is strategic

The change of components in Verstappen’s powertrain is strategic

Max Verstappen; son: Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen was fastest in Friday free practice before the Belgian Grand Prix, but there will be quite a few penalties for changing components for your drivetrain. Its Red Bull RB18 will feature a fourth turbocharged internal combustion engine, MGU-H and MGU-K. Verstappen and five other drivers, including Charles Leclerc, have various changes to the units exceeding the permitted number of components. They will receive penalties accordingly, making the starting grid calculation significantly more complicated than usual. Red Bull boss Christian Horner explained that the changes in Verstappen’s car were strategic.

“We decided that the situation with the powertrains will be quite tense until the end of the season. See what tracks are coming up on the calendar. You don’t want Zandvoort replaced. Monza is actually harder to overtake than you think. Singapore is not a good option, and in Japan the overtaking is complicated, so we started to run out of options,” he explained.

“Spa is a track that can be overtaken. “We think we’re going to be quick here, so we decided to take the opportunity (to change components in the powertrain),” Horner added.

The head of Red Bull added that in fact Spa in Belgium and the Sahir circuit in Bahrain are the places where overtaking is easiest.

“That’s probably why so many people have chosen the track here to build up more powertrains for the rest of the season. Looks like Carlos [Сайнц] there will be no penalty, and probably Mercedes. So the race will probably be great. “These guys are going to be fighting at the front for sure, and we’re going to see how quickly Max and Charles can make their way through the column,” Horner added.

Verstappen himself commented that he was aware of what would happen after changing components in the drive system, but he did not change his approach to work much

“We looked at how to set up the car in the best possible way. I think that from the beginning the behavior of the car was quite strong. There are always little things in the balance that can be tweaked. But after the first outing I was happy with the car,” commented Verstappen.