Max Verstappen braced for 15-place grid drop for USGP

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Max Verstappen will drop 15 places on the grid for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix after being hit with a penalty for changing parts on his Formula 1 power unit overnight.

Verstappen entered the USGP weekend at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas hopeful of scoring his third straight podium, having won in Malaysia at the beginning of the month and finished second in Japan two weeks ago.

The Dutchman’s hopes have now been dented after Red Bull elected to fit a new internal combustion engine and MGU-H on his Renault power unit, having been short on parts to make it to the end of the season.

The changes were confirmed by FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer in his pre-qualifying report, as well as revealing Sergio Perez had taken a new MGU-K, albeit without triggering a penalty as Force India has remained within its season allocation.

Verstappen becomes the fourth driver to take a grid penalty for the USGP, with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Toro Rosso rookie Brendon Hartley also taking drops due to power unit changes.