Formula 1 news: Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen will go to the Russian Grand Prix with a three-place grid penalty. However, Red Bull feels that the penalty will not matter much in the Russian Circuit.
Verstappen was punished for his actions, following his crash with Lewis Hamilton at Monza. As Lewis Hamilton made his way out of the pits in Lap 26, he found himself in the gravel with Verstappen’s car on top of him.
As a result, Max Verstappen was awarded a three-place grid penalty for the upcoming Grand Prix and two penalty points on his license. Red Bull boss Christian Horner, unconcerned by the penalty, predicted that Sochi would be a challenge regardless of the penalisation.
The Russian track has seen a Mercedes car win since 2014. The Silver Arrows team would be hoping for the same outcome this Sunday. Verstappen would be hoping to change it and conquer yet another Mercedes stronghold.
Formula 1 news: Verstappen will also be facing an engine penalty
Christian Horner, team principal for Red Bull Formula 1 team had a few words to say about the incident. He said that they respected the Stewards’ decision. However, he added that both Lewis and Max were to blame for the same.
Both drivers were unable to finish the race after the incident and hence the points table remained the same. Verstappen currently holds a five-point lead on Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship.
The 23-year-old Dutchman has had his fair share of collisions this season. However, the races he completed without any of the same, he has aced. Sochi could prove to be a turning point in this thriller of a season as Lewis could end up gaining the momentum to see the championship to its conclusion.
Verstappen will also be facing an engine penalty this season, as he will need a new power unit after all the collisions he has had so far. Red Bull considering to serve both penalties together seems unlikely as Max could end up getting a good result from the front three rows.
What to watch for at the Russian Grand Prix?
The Russian Grand Prix will be taking place in Sochi on 26th September at 5:30 PM IST. The Grand Prix will not be featuring a sprint race, unlike Monza. The 5.848km long circuit was introduced to Formula 1 in 2014.
Mercedes have won every single race at the Sochi Autodrom since its reintroduction to Formula 1 in 2014. The circuit’s key feature is its turn three, which features a constant left-turning arc, similar to that in Istanbul.
McLaren will also be the ones to watch for, as they are the ones who gained from Lewis and Max’s misfortunes. Daniel Ricciardo, who last Sunday won his first Grand Prix since 2018, will be keen on keeping the momentum and winning important points for the team.
Williams, who have also not failed to capitalise on others’ misfortunes will also be keen to put up a fight to the 7th place Aston Martin. Antonio Giovinazzi will also be hoping to put in a good performance in order to retain his seat.