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Verstappen: Grid penalty doesn't change Russian GP for Red Bull

Verstappen: Grid penalty doesn't change Russian GP for Red Bull

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Verstappen: Grid penalty doesn't change Russian GP for Red Bull

Verstappen: Grid penalty doesn't change Russian GP for Red Bull

Max Verstappen does not expect the prospect of grid penalties to alter Red Bull's ambitions at the Russian Grand Prix.

All four Honda-powered cars have been given new engines for the Sochi weekend, just a few weeks removed from the last upgrade introduced by the Japanese manufacturer.

The move has been done in order to maximise performance at the Japanese Grand Prix in a fortnight, with Honda yet to score a point in four races at Suzuka since returning to F1 in 2015.

Asked about the thinking behind the decision, Verstappen said: "We thought 'why not?'

"Because I don't think it's going to hurt us a lot around here. It's not [being sent to the] back of the grid, it's only five places. That's why I think we went for it.

"Last year we started from the back, overtaking didn't seem like a big problem around here.

"Maybe the midfield teams are a bit more competitive this year but I think it should be all right.

Verstappen had been pegged as a potential race-winner last weekend in Singapore, but a third-place finish was perhaps a better result than Red Bull might have expected after a poor display in qualifying, something that was put down to an issue with their race simulations ahead of time.

"We went in a different direction than in previous years and it didn't work out how we wanted to," Verstappen said. "Probably little things with the simulator we could have done better.

"I think the simulator has helped us so much that one weekend where it didn't work out can happen. Unfortunately it was Singapore but we'll look into everything to see if we can improve it for next year."

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