Aug.27 (GMM) Both of F1’s championship protagonists for 2022 will slide down the Spa-Francorchamps grid as a result of unscheduled engine changes.
Both Red Bull and Ferrari have separately decided to take the grid penalties at the fabled Belgian GP circuit, where overtaking is easier than at most other circuits.
“It was difficult to finish the season with the parts we still had in the pool,” Christian Horner, who is championship leader Max Verstappen’s boss at Red Bull, said on Friday.
“You don’t want to take a penalty at Zandvoort, it’s difficult to overtake in Monza, you don’t want to start at the back in Singapore – you can’t overtake in Japan either,” he smiled.
“Bahrain and Spa are the easiest circuits for overtaking which is why other teams have chosen to take a penalty here as well. And we look strong.”
Indeed, Verstappen’s gap over Ferrari driver Leclerc in afternoon practice on Friday was a whopping 8 tenths of a second.
“I’m assuming the others will react and add more downforce tomorrow,” said Dr Helmut Marko.
It is also not yet clear whether Verstappen or Leclerc will have the higher grid place on Sunday after the FIA determines the full starting order following qualifying.
“Let’s see how far behind we really are,” said Marko.
“The penalties affect six drivers, who in the end our starting position might not be that bad.”