Verstappen is expected to move onto a fourth power unit and take a subsequent grid drop before the end of the season after losing an engine in his 51G shunt following his collision with title rival Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone.

Red Bull opted to fit a new power unit on Sergio Perez’s car at the Dutch Grand Prix after the Mexican suffered a shock Q1 elimination but the team is yet to decide when it will change Verstappen’s engine.

“I mean we haven’t really decided yet where to take it,” Verstappen said on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

“This engine is still very new so we’ll see. It’s definitely not the plan to take it here.”

Verstappen reclaimed the lead of the world champion with a dominant home victory at Zandvoort and heads into the weekend three points clear of Hamilton.

Red Bull has not won at Monza since 2013 but Verstappen hopes the team will be more competitive this year.

“For sure compared to previous years but I’m not sure if it’s gonna be enough to fight them [Mercedes]”, Verstappen said when asked if Red Bull will have a better chance to win in Italy.

“But nevertheless this weekend again, with sprint qualifying it is going to be very different. So I hope that we did our homework before coming here and we can be very competitive.

“But it’s a bit difficult to say where we will stand. I definitely don’t expect it to be like Zandvoort.”

And Verstappen is not expecting F1’s sprint race format to provide huge amounts of action.

“It might seem like you have straights here but with these cars it’s extremely difficult to follow,” he added. “I remember last year, I was stuck in a DRS train, so it depends on the pace of the leading guy in the DRS train.

“But hopefully we get positively surprised by it and maybe people will be daring with strategy, so let’s see. Hopefully we don’t really need to overtake many cars.”