Red Bull to wait for calendar changes before deciding penalty strategy

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – AUGUST 01: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks with Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and Sergio Perez of Mexico and Red Bull Racing in the Paddock before the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on August 01, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said that the team will wait for the F1 calendar changes to be finalized before deciding on their grid penalty strategy for the remainder of the season.

Honda revealed on Thursday that both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez lost their second engine, putting both drivers at imminent risk for 10-place grid penalties with 12 races to go.

“It’s a question of strategically when do we take those [penalties]. I think we’ll wait to see exactly what the calendar evolution looks like as well,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“You’ve got to pick your moments strategically to do that, do you do it early, or do you do it a bit later, or pick a time where you maybe have a bad session and that’s the time to effect the change.

“Of course we will have to take penalties later in the year.”

Currently, there are doubts regarding Turkey and Mexico hosting Grands Prix due to COVID-19 concerns, and while Horner admitted that Spa would be a suitable place to opt for the grid penalties, the predicted rain is something that he is wary about.

“We saw the danger of being in a damp race at the last weekend. So it’s something we’re constantly evaluating and constantly looking at,” Horner added.

“It’s an open circuit, you can overtake here, but at the same time, if you qualify well, do you want to be in the mist and spray?

“I think so long as you’re flexible with it, the right opportunity will present itself.”

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