Honda will bring its first engine upgrade of the 2019 Formula 1 season to the upcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, and Toro Rosso pair Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon will all have brand new ‘Spec 2’ internal combustion engines for this weekend’s race in Baku.

Honda took the decision after discovering a quality control issue on Kvyat’s power unit during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

The Japanese engine manufacturer cited “improved durability” and “better reliability” as the main reasons behind the early introduction of the new components, which it says also offers “a slight improvement in performance”.

Both Toro Rosso drivers are now on the verge of being hit with grid penalties, with Kvyat and Albon taking their second engines of their three permitted units this season in China. Any further combustion engine changes will result in a grid drop.

 

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