Max Verstappen is braced for a tough Italian Grand Prix starting from the back of the grid after being hit with a penalty for changes made to his Formula 1 power unit on Friday, but the Dutchman hopes it will not have to happen again this season.

The FIA confirmed ahead of this weekend's race at Monza that Verstappen will take a 15-place grid drop after Red Bull changed the MGU-H and Internal Combustion Engine on his Renault power unit, with the team preferring to do so ahead of the next race at Singapore where it should be more competitive.

While naturally disappointed to be resigned to starting at the back of the grid, Verstappen said he hopes the sacrifice is worth making at Monza, a track where Red Bull was not expected to be able to challenge front-runners Mercedes and Ferrari.

"I hope so. I hope from now on we can finish the rest of the season like this, but you never know," Verstappen said.

“You can see [the penalty] coming, it’s not that it’s like a big surprise, so you expect it and build up to it.”

Verstappen focused chiefly on his long-run pace through second practice at Monza on Friday, saying it was "more or less what we expected" given the layout of the circuit.

"It’s hard for us on this track with a lot of straights and then we have to combine it with a very low downforce setting," Verstappen added.

"It was alright. We made the best of it and that’s the best we can do at the moment.”



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