Red Bull and Honda will use Friday practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix to test the viability of Max Verstappen’s engine following his clash with Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone.
Verstappen was sent into the barriers on the exit of the high-speed Copse right-hander when he collided with the Mercedes of title rival Hamilton on the opening lap of the British GP.
There was extensive damage to Verstappen’s stricken Red Bull and once he was safely out of the car, attention turned to what the consequences of the crash would be for the following race in Hungary.
On the eve of the Budapest race, Honda confirmed the work that it has done to the power unit in the 10 days following the crash and that it will test the engine in practice.
“The PU was sent back to Sakura [Honda’s base in Japan] for thorough checks,” Honda confirmed in statement given to The Race.
“We also replaced certain parts, as allowed in the regulations, without breaking the FIA seals.
“We will use the engine this Friday to give it a proper track test, after which we should have a clearer picture of its viability as a race engine.”
Drivers are restricted to using a specific number of engine components during the season and Verstappen is currently on his second set of the major ones – the internal combustion engine, MGU-H, turbocharger, and MGU-K.
Each driver can only use three of them before they’re awarded grid penalties.
Therefore, Red Bull could fit a new Honda power unit without incurring a penalty, but if those Honda parts that were involved in the clash cannot be used again, Verstappen would be at a very high risk of receiving a penalty later in the 23-race season.
It remains unclear exactly which engine components are at risk of no longer being suitable to use in the races.