Verstappen takes five-place grid penalty at Belgian GP for gearbox change
Max Verstappen has been hit with a five-place grid penalty at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix after the Red Bull driver took on a fifth gearbox assembly of the campaign ahead of qualifying.
Alongside power unit allocations, drivers are limited under the current F1 regulations as to how many restricted-number components (RNCs) they can use over the course of a season.
RNCs are components that make up the gearbox, split between the gearbox case and cassette (an allocation of four for the season), and the gearbox driveline, gear change components and auxiliary components (also an allocation of four for the season).
With 11 races down, Red Bull have fitted a fifth gearbox driveline, gear change components and auxiliary components to Verstappen’s RB19 for the Spa-Francorchamps weekend, meaning a five-place grid penalty will be coming his way.
Given that the Sprint format is in play, Verstappen’s penalty will apply to Sunday’s Grand Prix, with no effect on his grid position for the 100-kilometre dash on Saturday afternoon.