His team, Red Bull, has been sanctioned because they installed the fifth gearbox in his car. This installation is not in line with the set regulations, according to which each car should not have more than four gearboxes before incurring penalties.
Therefore, Verstappen, who is comfortably in pole position in the drivers’ championship with a lead of 110 points, will have his starting position in the Sunday race demoted by five places downwards based on his Friday afternoon qualification result.
Irrespective of the impending penalty, its effects will not trickle down to the sprint format slated for Saturday. This event features a fresh qualification round for a less lengthy race where relatively fewer points are up for grabs.
The flying Dutchman has taken top honors in nine out of the eleven Grand Prix in the current season. The gearbox penalty has sparked some optimism among his rivals about a possible slump in his form, and thus, an end to his winning spree comprising of the last seven consecutive races.
It is, however, worth noting that Verstappen‘s prowess is no stranger to such setbacks. He incredibly snatched victory in last year’s Belgian Grand Prix despite starting from the 14th position on the grid.
The Spa circuit seemingly favors the mastery of the Red Bull team. This is presumably the underlying reason they chose to incur the grid penalty at this particular race.
However, Perez‘s form has been somewhat lackluster since the beginning of May, especially in qualifications. His best starting grid position since then has been ninth, recorded at the Miami Grand Prix.
The weather forecasts for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix suggest challenging conditions with heavy rain expected during the Friday qualifying session. In response, the drivers are fervently advising the FIA, the sport’s governing body, to not shy away from calling off the competition if the conditions escalate to dangerous levels.