Max Verstappen will continue using the engine that was damaged in his heavy crash at Silverstone two weeks ago, after it performed as normal in Hungarian Grand Prix practice.
Honda used Friday practice to evaluate the power unit that was in the car when Verstappen suffered a 51G crash in the British Grand Prix.
When Honda personnel saw the television images showing the right rear of the RB16B completely destroyed, the bodywork torn away and the Honda power unit exposed, they feared that the engine would be terminally damaged.
That would have meant a new engine for this weekend’s race, putting Verstappen on his final ‘free’ power unit and setting him up for a guaranteed penalty later in the year as using any more than three internal combustion engines, turbochargers, MGU-Hs and MGU-Ks in a season triggers an automatic grid drop.
However, the angle of impact meant the power unit mostly survived the hit, with Honda able to change some parts without breaking the seals of any major component – although the power unit does have a new exhaust system this weekend.
Honda was satisfied prior to this weekend with the results of the static checks conducted in its Sakura and Milton Keynes facilities.
In Friday practice, the engine ran without fault and without any anomalies appearing on the data in opening practice.
“It was good to see that Max is not suffering any ill effects from the Silverstone crash and we were able to check that the power unit that he used in the British GP weekend is working as normal,” said Honda’s F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe.
Honda did not initially say whether the engine would continue to be used this weekend as it does not broadcast how it uses the available components it has in its active pool.
However, it has now confirmed to The Race that the Silverstone power unit will remain in the car for qualifying and the Hungarian GP.