Max’s Silverstone engine ‘working as normal’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen Red Bull

Max Verstappen Red Bull

Max Verstappen will continue running his Silverstone engine in Hungary with Honda happy with the reliability after Friday’s practice.

Verstappen failed to see the end of the opening lap at the British Grand Prix, punted into retirement after contact with Lewis Hamilton through Copse.

Sent flying off the circuit, the Dutchman crashed into the tyre barrier at 150mph, the impact registering at 51G.

His RB16B suffered $1.8m worth of damage but miraculously the engine seemed to survive the crash.

Honda sent it back to Japan for tests before putting back in the Dutchman’s car for Friday’s practice at the Hungaroring.

The engine ran without any issues.

“It was good to see that Max is not suffering any ill effects from the Silverstone crash and we were able to check that the power unit that he used in the British GP weekend is working as normal,” said Honda’s F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe.

Verstappen was fastest in first practice but was pipped by the Mercedes team-mates in the afternoon session.

His fastest lap time was 0.298s slower than Valtteri Bottas’ P1 time.

Verstappen will continue running the engine for the rest of the weekend.

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One thing that was changed was his gearbox.

Because he didn’t finish the British Grand Prix, Red Bull were permitted to replace his gearbox without a penalty. They did just that.

He also received a new control electronics.

Tanabe is expecting a fierce battle with Mercedes as Red Bull prepare for qualifying.

“Qualifying has been very close at most circuits this year and, as is always the case on a short track like the Hungaroring, the lap times will be even closer than usual, so we can expect a very tight battle for qualifying,” he said.

Verstappen heads into Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix with an eight-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the race for the 2021 World title. It was up to 33 before their British Grand Prix clash with Hamilton winning that race while Verstappen retired.