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Red Bull Racing

Marko not ruling out a grid penalty for Verstappen

Max Verstappen's gearbox will be checked by Red Bull ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, after he crashed out of qualifying.

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To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has suggested that the team will take no chances with Max Verstappen's gearbox after he dramatically crashed out of qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was pushing for pole position at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit when he crashed at the last corner of his final flying lap, leaving him third on the grid, behind Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Given the angle of impact, concerns have been raised over Verstappen's freshly-fitted gearbox which, if replaced, would earn him a five-place grid penalty and put him back to eighth position.

"We have to take it apart and study it"

Helmut Marko told Austrian broadcaster ServusTV that Red Bull will be inspecting the gearbox ahead of the race.

He also referred to Charles Leclerc's qualifying crash in Monaco earlier this season, after which Ferrari carried out checks and opted against making a gearbox change, only to run into issues on the lap to the grid and pull out of proceedings.

"We have to take it apart and study it," Marko said of Verstappen's gearbox after qualifying.

"We also saw this with Charles Leclerc in Monaco after a similar crash. Ferrari decided not to change the gearbox and during the warm-up lap the consequences became clear."

Verstappen holds an eight-point lead over Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship.

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