Red Bull make Max Verstappen penalty claim after engine issues cause havoc at Hungarian GP

MAX VERSTAPPEN had a difficult time in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying.

Red Bull make Max Verstappen penalty claim after engine issues cause havoc at Hungarian GP

Helmut Marko does not think Max Verstappen will be penalised (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

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Red Bull are optimistic that Max Verstappen will not incur a grid penalty after experiencing power problems in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying. The world championship leader will begin Sunday’s race in 10th after a “glitch” prematurely ended his chances of a pole position. 

Verstappen made an error in his first Q3 run and then a power loss issue hampered his final qualifying lap. Sunday will be the first time this season that the Dutchman has started a race outside the top three on the grid. 

The power issues raised the possibility that Verstappen might incur a grid penalty ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Requiring a new power unit generally leads to a punishment being issued.

But Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko does not believe the problem is serious enough to warrant a grid penalty. “With Max’s second attempt, we had a problem with the engine. As a result, he did not have full power, but only a reduced engine power at his disposal,” Marko told Austrian sports broadcaster ORF.

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Red Bull make Max Verstappen penalty claim after engine issues cause havoc at Hungarian GP

Max Verstappen will begin the Hungarian Grand Prix in 10th (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

“We think we know what it’s about. There is no penalty attached to it if we change this part.” Verstappen also insisted that the issue is not a ‘big’ one. However, the 24-year-old will have the tough task of finding his way to the front of the pack on a tricky Hungaroring track. 

He told Sky Sports: “I don’t think it was a big issue but it wasn’t something we could solve on track basically. It is very unfortunate. I think the turnaround from yesterday was amazing.

“That was the positive about today, we understood what went wrong and the car was so much better today in terms of handling on a track which doesn’t really suit us,” he added on Saturday. 

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Red Bull make Max Verstappen penalty claim after engine issues cause havoc at Hungarian GP

Max Verstappen leads the F1 world drivers’ championship (Image: EXPRESS SPORT)

“But, of course, I would have still liked to start in the top three and I definitely think we had the pace for it because in Q2 we looked very strong comfortably. So a good turnaround but unfortunately the little glitch we had makes us start 10th.”

Mercedes star George Russell earned the first pole of his career in qualifying on Saturday. It boosts the Brit’s chances of a first Formula One victory on a trick notorious for its difficulty in overtaking. 

Verstappen still leads the world championship leaderboard by 63 points, but Charles Leclerc will hope to close the gap on his rival after securing P3. Leclerc suffered a disappointing crash in the French GP last week that further stretched the gap between himself and Verstappen. 

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