Belgian Grand Prix: Engine penalty shunts Alexander Albon to back of grid

Alexander Albon
Alexander Albon was dropped from Red Bull's junior programme after just one year in 2013, before receiving the call to drive for Toro Rosso in 2018

Alexander Albon will start his career with the Red Bull senior team at Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix from the back of the grid because of an upgrade to Honda's engine.

The Anglo-Thai, who was promoted from Toro Rosso for the rest of the season, replaces Pierre Gasly who moves the other way.

Albon inherited Gasly's engine allocation, and the Frenchman had already exceeded the limit of permitted engine parts for the season.

Daniil Kvyat will also take the new 'spec four' engine at Toro Rosso, and likewise start from the back.

Red Bull have won two of the past four races with Albon's team-mate Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman and Gasly can be expected to take the new engine at a subsequent race, most likely next weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

"Our performance gradually improved over the races immediately prior to the break and both our teams were competitive," Honda F1 tech boss Toyoharu Tanabe said.

"We aim to carry that momentum forward into the next part of the season achieving further improvements.

"As usual, we have focused on improving both reliability and performance, in the hope of achieving even better results with both teams in this part of the season.

"Our plan is that only Albon and Kvyat will run it at Spa, for strategic reasons, looking at the rest of the season as a whole.

"The driver swap between Albon and Gasly has no effect on how we operate at the race, and we continue to do our best to support all four of our drivers.

"As per the Sporting Regulations, Albon now takes on what was Gasly's power-unit usage in terms of all the components that make up the power-unit and vice versa."

Top Stories