The Dutch man will drop 15 places from wherever he qualifies at Austin for US Grand Prix due to an engine change penalty.
Red Bull has changed the internal combustion engine (ICE) and MGU-H on Verstappen’s car, the fifth of either component in the young man’s package. Drivers are only allowed to use four of each engine component before penalties are acquired.
Verstappen joins Renault speedy, Nico Hulkenberg (20-place drop), Debutant Brendon Hartley (25-place drop) and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne (5-place drop) in the grid drop group.
The Dutch man’s penalty will be gainful for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel. With Lewis Hamilton able to seal the 2017 title this weekend Vettel needs to avoid dropping 15 points or more to the Mercedes driver.
Although all three practice session proved Mercedes looks set to be the team to beat, Ferrari appears more likely to be in a battle with Red Bull — Verstappen’s penalty will take him out of that battle.