Alexander Albon and Daniil Kvyat are both set for heavy Belgian Grand Prix grid penalties following Honda’s decision to hand both drviers its ‘Spec 4’ update of its power unit.

Following Albon’s shock promotion to Red Bull at the expense of Pierre Gasly over the summer break, the Formula 1 rookie is set to start from the back of the grid at Spa-Francorchamps by taking the latest Honda engine update “focused on improving both reliability and performance”, according to Honda technical boss Toyoharu Tanabe.

Toro Rosso’s Kvyat will also gain the upgrade, and take on the same grid penalty, with Honda explaining it has “strategic reasons”, with both Max Verstappen and Gasly expected to gain the same upgrade at the upcoming races.

“We are introducing the Spec 4 version of our PU at this event,” Tanabe said. “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 PU usage in terms of all the components that make up the PU and vice versa.”

Assuming the Honda power unit update includes all components both Albon and Kvyat will serve back of the grid penalties in Spa this weekend.

 

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