Verstappen set for grid penalty at Russian Grand Prix

The Dutchman and his Red Bull team-mate Alex Albon, along with both Toro Rosso drivers, will be using an updated version of Honda’s latest engine.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen   -  Getty Images

Max Verstappen is set to take a grid penalty that will hit his hopes of a podium success at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman and his Red Bull team-mate Alex Albon, along with both Toro Rosso drivers, will be using an updated version of Honda’s latest engine.

The two Red Bull men are set to take five-place grid penalties while the Toro Rosso team’s Pierre Gasly takes a five-place penalty and team-mate Daniil Kvyat a heavier sanction because he is due to use more new engine parts.

Honda has chosen to use new power units in Sochi ahead of its home Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka next month.

“Looking at our PU (power unit) usage for the rest of the season, in Sochi all four drivers will get a new Spec 4 ICE (internal combustion engine),” said Honda.

Honda believes it has a chance of a stronger result at Suzuka than at Sochi where Red Bull has been unable to claim a podium finish since the launch of the race in 2014.