Red Bull, Toro Rosso taking Russian grid drops for fresh Honda engines
Verstappen takes five-place grid drop, while Kvyat to start at the back of the field for his home Russian GP
By James Galloway in Sochi
Last Updated: 02/10/19 3:59pm
Red Bull and Toro Rosso's drivers will all take grid penalties at this weekend's Russian GP as they run fresh versions of Honda's latest engine.
Max Verstappen, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly will all drop five places from where they qualify on Saturday.
Daniil Kvyat, however, will start from the back of the grid at his home race after taking on more new engine elements due to the fact his Toro Rosso car is in a different stage of its 2019 engine cycle.
"Looking at our PU usage for the rest of the season, in Sochi all 4 drivers will get a new Spec 4 ICE," confirmed Honda.
The next race after Sochi is Suzuka, Honda's own track, and the form of Red Bull gives the Japanese manufacturer its best chance of a strong home result since it returned to F1 in 2015.
Sochi has tended to be one of Red Bull's weaker circuits, with the team yet to claim a podium finish since the race joined the calendar in 2014.
"It's alright. Last year we started from the back and overtaking didn't seem like a big problem around here," said Verstappen, who finished fifth from 19th on the grid in 2018.
"Maybe the midfield teams are a little bit more compeititve this year but, I don't care, it should be alright. You might lose a little bit of time to the guys ahead but, realistically speaking, you would anyway qualify fourth or fifth, so it's not going to change a lot."