Reigning world champion Max Verstappen along with his teammate Sergio Perez has been handed grid penalty ahead of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Red Bull driver were handed the penalty on Friday for exceeding their allocation of internal combustion engines. While Verstappen has been handed with five-place grid penalty, Sergio Perez has been penalised with a 10-place grid drop for a similar offence.
Meanwhile, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton along with Yuki Tsunado will started at the back of the grid, behind Carlos Sainz Jr after the Ferrari driver was given a 25-place penalty. Tsunoda received his latest reprimand last weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix for driving to the pits with loosened seatbelts after stopping on the track.
Notably, the Japanese driver has been handed five penalties in the 2022 season, out of which four came due to driving related offences. The driver has been previously reprimanded for driving unnecessarily slowly in Australian GP qualifying, and then hindering Sebastian Vettel in practice in Australia , Charles Leclerc in Bahrain and Kevin Magnussen in Monaco.
Meanwhile, Red Bull team principle Christian Horner explained the reason behind taking up penalty and termed it a 'strategic move.' "Yes, I mean we have elected to take this penalty here on the advice of our engine partner, and five places here is not draconian, so to have that extra engine added into our pool for the remaining seven races, we just thought strategically it's the right thing to do," said Horner.
Ahead of highly anticipated Italian GP, Verstappen claimed that he is not worried of Ferrari and confident of Red Bull's podium finish this weekend. "I think we look quite good, and I think that is the most important for the race," said the Red Bull driver.