The Japanese manufacturer confirmed on Thursday that Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have lost their second engines of the season due to recent crash damage, which is likely to result in grid penalties later in the season.

While Perez’s power unit has been completely written off after his collision in Hungary, Honda believes it now may be able to salvage Verstappen’s engine that was damaged in his Silverstone crash, but not without incurring penalties for breaking the seal.

“For Max’s PU we decided we cannot use it in the racing,” Tanabe explained on Friday at the Belgian Grand Prix. “Checo’s one is completely destroyed.

“In the case of Max’s one, we are not sure whether if we replace the parts maybe we can use it as normal. But from a safety point of view the current damage is a little bit too big to use it in racing.

“In the current PU regulations we cannot change parts which are sealed by the FIA. So unfortunately we want to change parts which are sealed.

“Of course we at Honda respect the PU regulations, which is based on long experience. But looking at our situation I think there is room to reconsider the regulation.”

Tanabe said a meeting involving representatives from the teams, power unit manufacturers and FIA could be used as a way to determine whether repairs should be permitted without incurring a penalty.


“I think it is possible to enquire to discuss about a parts change,” Tanabe continued.

“Then we can review the accident, we can check impact data, we can check chassis damage, we can check PU damage and then altogether we can discuss about the parts change request from PU manufacturers.

“Considering the current economic situation, also the sustainability of this sport, I think we have room to consider that type of thing. Anyway, we respect the regulation very much.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said his side is waiting to find out how the rest of the 2021 F1 calendar will look before deciding where his drivers will take a fourth power unit and subsequent grid drop.

F1 still hopes to stage 12 races before the end of the year to meet its original 23-round target but there are doubts over the viability of races in Turkey, Mexico and Brazil following a number of revisions to the schedule already.

“Of course we will have to take penalties later in the year,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “It’s a question of strategically when do we take those. I think we’ll wait to see exactly what the calendar evolution looks like as well.

“You’ve got to pick your moments strategically to do that, do you do it early, or do you do it a bit later, or pick a time where you maybe have a bad session and that’s the time to effect the change.”

Spa has traditionally been used as a venue to take tactical engine penalties in the past, though an uncertain weather picture for the rest of the Belgian GP weekend is creating an additional headache.

“It’s an open circuit, you can overtake here, but at the same time, if you qualify well, do you want to be in the mist and spray?” Horner said.

“We saw the danger of being in a damp race at the last weekend. So, it’s something we’re constantly evaluating and constantly looking at.

“I think so long as you’re flexible with it, the right opportunity will present itself.”