Verstappen set to start Russian GP from the back of the grid after engine change

SOCHI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing

Red Bull's championship leader Max Verstappen will start the Russian Grand Prix from the back of the grid having taken a raft of new power unit components at Sochi, as confirmed during second practice on Friday.

The Dutchman, who already had a three-place grid penalty for Russia after his Italian GP collision with Lewis Hamilton, will receive a number of grid penalties that will inevitably see him start the Russian GP from the rear of the field.

READ MORE: Ferrari to debut new engine in Russia, forcing Leclerc to start from back of the grid

Verstappen has taken a new internal Honda internal combustion engine, new turbo, MGU-H, MGU-K, energy store, control electronics, and exhaust this weekend – with grid penalties set to be handed down to the driver as he has exceeded his season allocation of every one of those parts bar the exhaust.

Joining Verstappen at the back will be Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who has also taken new power unit elements for this weekend, including a new-spec hybrid system.

That will strengthen Mercedes' chances of winning at Sochi and extending their run of victories every year since the track's debut in 2014. The Silver Arrows currently hold an 18-point advantage in the standings over Red Bull while Hamilton is five points behind Verstappen.


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