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Red Bull seems to have good timing: starting from P16 possible for Verstappen – GPblog

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Red Bull Racing seem to have timed the grid penalty for Max Verstappen correctly. Normally, with so many parts changed, the 24-year-old Dutchman would have had to start from 20th and last position in the Belgian Grand Prix, but fortunately for Verstappen there are a number of other drivers with the same problem.


Red Bull Racing seem to have timed the grid penalty for Max Verstappen correctly. Normally, with so many parts changed, the 24-year-old Dutchman would have had to start from 20th and last position in the Belgian Grand Prix, but fortunately for Verstappen there are a number of other drivers with the same problem.
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Engine change Verstappen

Verstappen has had a new combustion engine and a new Turbo Charger fitted in his RB18 at Spa-Francorchamps. In addition, the MGU-H and the MGU-K have been replaced. The engine change seems to be mainly tactical, meaning that the older engine parts can still be used later in the season. There is almost no place where overtaking is as ‘easy’ as on the Ardennes circuit.
Not only Verstappen and Red Bull know this, but the other Formula 1 teams as well. So perhaps it is not surprising that Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas also have several engine components replaced. Mick Schumacher has only had his gearbox changed. The German of Haas F1 was given a ten-place grid penalty.
As soon as a driver in Formula 1 receives a grid penalty of at least fifteen places, it automatically means that he or she will start from the back of the grid. For five of the six drivers mentioned above, this rule comes into effect. The regulations in the premier class of motor sport dictate that when several drivers have to start from the back of the grid, the results of the qualifying session determine the order of the grid.
In practice, this means that Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris, Bottas and Ocon will be fighting a five-man duel in qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Where we sometimes see drivers throw in the towel in Q1 to fully focus on a race set-up, this time the drivers would do well to give everything in qualifying to ensure they are 16th and not 20th on the grid. Schumacher is likely to start 15th unless he surprises with a top-four finish in qualifying.
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It is possible that just before the third free practice session it will become clear that even more drivers have chosen to replace several engine parts. We have seen more than once this season that teams announce that they have changed components not on Friday, but on Saturday. On top of that, engine problems can also emerge in one of the previous free practice sessions, like with Kevin Magnussen in FP1.
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