Verstappen’s engine got less damage than expected

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 18: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 18, 2021 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Honda came out and expressed its thoughts regarding the engine in Max Verstappen’s RB16B, stating that the damage inflicted was less than what the team expected, following the opening lap incident at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix.

Verstappen was slammed into the tire barriers off Copse, with the crash registering a 51G impact, according to the in-car sensors, making it the biggest crash of the Dutchman’s career so far.

While Red Bull already wrote off the chassis due to unrepairable damage, they were still unsure about the engine. Irreparable damage means the using up of the third allocated engine for the Hungarian GP, leaving Red Bull and Verstappen vulnerable to grid penalties should there be a need for a fourth engine, gifting an advantage to rivals Mercedes.

“We would like to send it back to HRD in Sakura and check it before making a decision,” Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe said when asked about Honda’s plans for the engine.

“I honestly don’t know [about the consequences] because the damage varies depending on the location.”

Tanabe admitted he was initially concerned when he saw images of the engine after the crash, but that the initial post-race analysis offered some well-needed optimism to the situation at hand.

“When I first saw the images of the car being lifted, I thought there was a lot of damage,” Tanabe admitted.

“But in reality, it seems that the damage is less than what we first saw. However, the actual damage cannot be known from its appearance when it is installed in the car.”

Red Bull now faces a headache after the crash due to the cost cap measures implemented in F1 with extra financing for repairs and spare parts coming out of the budget allocated for development.

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