Honda explained the reason for a last-minute engine switch for the race at the Hungarian Grand Prix, stating that a previously undiscovered crack in the power unit from Silverstone prompted the change.
While Verstappen will not take a grid penalty for Hungary, the next time Red Bull chooses to change the power unit of his RB16B, it will be levied, with the degree of severity depending on the number of parts replaced.
“In Sakura, we inspected Max’s Silverstone PU very carefully, checking the high load areas and replacing parts that showed visual signs of damage from the crash.
“As per the regulations, we did not remove the FIA seals and we could not disassemble the PU and inspect every single part. The PU seemed okay during free practice, but after qualifying, we found a crack.”
The engine swap puts Red Bull in a difficult position heading into the summer break as it is very probable for Verstappen to need a new power unit for a later Grand Prix, so the grid penalty will be applied.
“This crack is in an area close to the chassis, where we have never seen any type of failure before. We believe the crack has been caused by the very high impact loads sustained in the crash. We will carry out further checks to see if the PU from Silverstone can be used in future practice sessions.”