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Verstappen fears "difficult" midfield could hinder Russian GP recovery

Verstappen fears "difficult" midfield could hinder Russian GP recovery

F1 News

Verstappen fears "difficult" midfield could hinder Russian GP recovery

Verstappen fears "difficult" midfield could hinder Russian GP recovery

Max Verstappen fears the tight F1 midfield could hinder his chances of recovering from a back-of-the-grid penalty after taking a fourth power unit for the season.

The impact of Verstappen's 51g crash at Silverstone that cracked a PU has forced Red Bull to take the hit for the Russian Grand Prix at a Sochi Autodrom circuit where it knows overtaking is possible.

In 2018, Verstappen started from 19th after taking a power unit penalty and went on to finish fifth, although he has expressed concerns on this occasion.

"Of course, in 2018 the gaps to the midfield were a bit bigger so actually I think it will be a bit more difficult to come through," said Verstappen.

"But we had to take the penalty anyway and if we wouldn't have taken it here we would have taken it somewhere else.

"So we thought okay, we will decide to do it here and we will try to make the best of it in the race."

With Saturday threatening to be a washout due to heavy rain, Verstappen added: "It's not only the results.

"I said before we will take everything into account, also with the weather for Saturday, so we thought it would be best to take it here."

Red Bull opted to focus primarily on race pace in the second practice session at the end of which Verstappen finished just over a second down on pacesetting Valtteri Bottas in his Mercedes.

"We just tried to make the best possible race car for this weekend, of course, once we decided to take that engine," added Verstappen.

"So I hope it is going to work out but let's first wait and see how the weather will be."

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