Verstappen set for rear of grid start at Monza

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen is set to start this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix from the rear of the grid as he will take Honda’s new power unit.

The Red Bull Racing driver and Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly are in for grid penalties given that they will move onto Honda’s ‘Spec 4’ engine.

Their respective team-mates, Alexander Albon and Daniil Kvyat, drew penalties when they did the same last weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix, although the former was switched back to an older specification for the race.

“From a PU point of view, the main development is that we plan to run the Spec 4 PU with all four drivers for the first time, after just Albon and Kvyat ran it in Belgium,” said Honda Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe.

“For their first race with Spec 4, Gasly and Verstappen will therefore take grid penalties and start from the back of grid, but we believe they can still race strongly on Sunday.

“We gathered useful data in Spa, which we have used to make changes to PU settings and calibration in preparation for this race.

“We will try to maximise the potential of Spec 4 and hope to get another positive result, maintaining the momentum we gained in Spa.”

Scuderia Ferrari held off on introducing engine updates at Spa but will do so for its home race, while Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg have the Spec C available having only used it in Friday practice at Spa and drawn their grid penalties then.

Practice 1 at Monza starts tomorrow at 1900 AEST.

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