Why will Verstappen and Leclerc start at the back of the grid at the Belgian Grand Prix?
Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and four other drivers will begin the Belgian Grand Prix at the back of the grid as a penalty for equipment changes.
F1 World Championship contenders Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are among six drivers who will be penalized for gearbox and power unit changes, and as a result will begin near the back of the grid at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, and Haas’ Mick Schumacher are the other drivers who will be penalized after their teams changed some of their car parts.
Going over the component cap
The number of components that each car can have is given a limit per season, and the race’s governing body FIA ruled that the recent equipment changes pushed them over the cap. This limit is set to encourage teams to keep their costs in check.
The performance of the drivers in Belgium will show whether the new equipment installed will be worth the penalties.
The order that the pilots will take at the back of the grid will be determined by how well they do in the qualifiers, the highest position possible now being 15th.
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Opportunity for Mercedes
This development will change the landscape of the race at the Spa circuit, with Verstappen and Leclerc starting their showdown at the back. The Dutch driver leads his closest rival by 80 points.
This will be a good chance for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell of Mercedes to try to win their first race this year, with the leaders starting out at a disadvantage.
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Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz are also sure to make the most of the chance to start ahead of their teammates.
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