Red Bull hint at engine change for Max Verstappen as F1 season reaches final two races

The Dutchman leads defending champion Lewis Hamilton by eight points with two races left this year

Alex Pattle
Wednesday 01 December 2021 15:49
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An engine change and grid penalty are not off the cards for Max Verstappen before the Formula 1 season is up, according to Red Bull.

The Dutchman leads defending champion Lewis Hamilton by eight points with two races left this season, with the Briton having served two engine-related grid penalties this year, while Verstappen is still on his third engine – the permitted amount.

But, with Hamilton closing in, the 24-year-old might be forced to change engines before the year is over, receiving a five-place grid penalty if he is to do so.

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko told F1 Insider, per the Express: “An engine change is not planned in Saudi Arabia at the moment.

“If it does, it will come in Abu Dhabi,” where the season finale takes place on 12 December.

Meanwhile, team principal Christian Horner said ahead of last month’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix: “All things being normal, we expect to get to the end of the year with the combustion engines that we have.

“The three are still all in use from the beginning of the year. We obviously lost one following the crash at Silverstone, but with the penalty that we took in Sochi, that got us back into good shape.

“So bar abnormal circumstances, we expect to get to the end of the year.”

Verstappen is seeking his first F1 title, while Hamilton is looking to go clear of joint-record-holder Michael Schumacher on eight.

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