Formula 1 title leader Max Verstappen is set to start the Russian Grand Prix from the rear of the grid after taking a fresh power unit.
Verstappen was left out of sync earlier in the year after one of his power units sustained damage in his collision with title rival Lewis Hamilton in Britain.
Red Bull had been expected to take a fresh power unit, consigning Verstappen to the rear of the grid, before the end of the season.
The decision to take a fresh power unit comes at a circuit where Mercedes has historically dominated, while effectively nullifying the impact of Verstappen’s three-place grid penalty.
Red Bull took the decision to fit Verstappen’s RB16B with all six of the Honda components that make up the power unit, along with a fresh exhaust.
Verstappen is therefore the latest driver to exceed his engine allocation for the season.
Sergio Perez took a fresh power unit in Belgium while both Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly had a new power unit in Italy.
Verstappen is set to be joined on the back of the grid in Russia by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who has also made the switch in order to take on Ferrari’s new hybrid system.
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