Martin Brundle attacks ‘ridiculous’ grid penalty rules ahead of Belgian GP

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MAX VERSTAPPEN and Charles Leclerc will start the Belgian Grand Prix from the back of the grid.

F1 preview: A lap of the Belgian Grand Prix

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Martin Brundle has attacked F1’s grid penalty system as “horribly confusing” and says it “looks ridiculous”. He said the current system seems a “bit silly” after seven drivers were issued penalties ahead of qualifying.

Six of those drivers, including title challengers Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, have been ordered to start from the back of the grid. However, Brundle explained a penalty system to limit new parts was crucial to stop big teams from pulling away,

He said: “I’ve been shown how they calculate that, how they apply the penalties car by car and then move them back down again. It’s horribly confusing. It seems a bit silly, because the power units are around, they are in existence, as Christian Horner often says they do a world tour anyway..

“But what it’s to do is to control costs and to stop the big teams just putting a new power unit in every day. As indeed back when I used to race Formula One cars a team would have 80 engines.

“They would either be in use, in transit, under repair or in service. It was ridiculous frankly but that list looks ridiculous as well sadly.”

READ MORE: F1 stewards clarify grid penalty error after Max Verstappen penalised

Martin Brundle attacks 'ridiculous' grid penalty rules ahead of Belgian GP

Martin Brundle has branded F1’s grid penalties as ‘ridiculous’ (Image: Sky Sports F1)

Verstappen and Leclerc took penalties after changing a range of engine components ahead of the weekend. It’s Leclerc’s second back of the grid start of the season after being pushed down the field in Canada.

The decision opens up a chance for the title challengers’ team-mates, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz, to challenge for victory. It also hands a lifeline to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell as Mercedes continue to target their first win of the season.

Brundle opened up on why both Red Bull and Ferrari had decided to pull the trigger on introducing new parts at the same time.

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Martin Brundle attacks 'ridiculous' grid penalty rules ahead of Belgian GP

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have been issued grid penalties (Image: Getty)

He explained: “It’s easier to overtake here than say in Zandvoort next weekend or indeed as we saw last year even in Monza. You’d think with the long straights overtaking would be pretty easy but it’s not actually.

“Here you can get a good old breeze and slipstream and get the rear wing open down the back straight there into Les Coombes. It makes sense. This far out they will work out the duty cycle of their engines and all the Grands Prix coming up and they have worked out that this is a good place to do it.”

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