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Max Verstappen

Honda explain why they changed Verstappen's engine

The Japanese engine manufacturer have explained their thinking process during the last two weeks which has led to a late power unit change for championship leader Max Verstappen.

Verstappen Hungary
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Honda have confirmed a crack in an area of the car which they have never seen before is the reason for Max Verstappen's engine change just hours before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who will start from third place behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, crashed at Silverstone and the ill-affects of his accident have likely caused damage to his power unit according to Honda.

"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," Honda told the press.

"But, 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.

"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."

Verstappen will not take a grid penalty for Sunday's Hungarian GP but will be penalised if he uses another power unit this season, since he is on his third engine which is the maximum allowance.

Any further power units beyond that will trigger grid penalties, with the extent of that grid penalty determined by how many parts, including ancillaries such as the MGU-H, MGU-K and turbo.

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