Verstappen has complete power unit change for Baku

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen in the cockpit. Baku June 2022.

Max Verstappen sits in his Red Bull RB18 before heading out to FP1. Baku June 2022.

Max Verstappen has an entirely fresh power unit in his car at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend, with every element changed.

The FIA confirmed that the Red Bull driver has had a new internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger (TC), Motor Generator Unit – Heat (MGU-H), Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic (MGU-K) and exhaust system (EX) put in place on his RB18.

Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez also has new components on his car this weekend, taking three of five new elements – with fresh ICE, MGU-K and EX systems put in place.

In terms of Red Bull’s title rivals, Charles Leclerc is the only driver at Ferrari to have had an element changed on his engine, with a new turbocharger and exhaust put in place in Baku.

Elsewhere, another driver to take a full power unit change is McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, as he hopes to discover better form in the upcoming races, while Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll has also had all five elements changed on his AMR22.

Both Williams drivers, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi, have also had full engine changes of their own as they look to bring themselves closer to the front after switching from the first power unit parts in their engine pool.

Eleven drivers in total have changed exhaust for the weekend in Azerbaijan, including the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

None of the power unit changes for any driver will cause grid penalties to be issued this weekend, as the new parts are part of the allotted pool for each driver this season.

Perez went fastest in first practice in Azerbaijan on Friday, with Verstappen down in third and having a late spin at Turn 15.

Team boss Christian Horner confirmed the team need to modify the World Champion’s rear wing, though, in order to stop the ‘flapping’ that was on display on the start/finish straight in Baku.