Formula One fans who were hoping for a three-team battle for the Russian Grand Prix win, will be disappointed. Apparently, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, the two Honda-powered teams, will take grid penalties for this weekend. This penalty comes ahead of Honda’s home race in Japan in two weeks time.
The good news is that Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon will only drop five places, along with Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly. However, the bad news is that they will be right amongst the midfield kitted with their new Spec 4 internal combustion engines.
On the other hand, local hero Daniil Kvyat has a far more challenging task ahead of him. The Russian driver is expected to start his home race from the back of the grid. This is because, his Toro Rosso underwent a complete power unit change, excluding the battery.
According to a statement from Honda, “Looking at our power unit usage for the rest of the season, in Sochi all 4 drivers will get a new Spec 4 ICE,”.
“With a different replacement history, Kvyat is changing all elements except the battery. He will start from the back of the grid. The other 3 will get 5 place grid penalties.”
This is not the first time the Red Bull teams have been thrust into this kind of position. Earlier, at the Belgian Grand Prix, Albon and Kvyat started from the back of the pack with a new power unit. Meanwhile, Verstappen and Gasly took their turn to start from the back of the grid in Monza.
The Japanese Grand Prix on October 13th, will be Honda’s maiden home race with Red Bull. At the Suzuka circuit, the Japanese engine manufacturer will be gunning for a strong result. Already, with the energy drinks outfit, Honda claimed two race victories under their belt, and are aiming for a third.