Red Bull Racing considers taking double penalty on Verstappen's car at Russian GP

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• Red Bull is considering fielding a new engine in Max Verstappen's car at the next race.

• Verstappen will then suffer a double penalty following his three-place grid penalty for his collision with Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix.

• Red Bull realises that the Russian GP will suit title rivals Mercedes better.

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Red Bull is ready to move on and "make the best of it" at Sochi next weekend, as the controversy surrounding the Verstappen-Hamilton crash at Monza races on.

Championship leader Max Verstappen received a three-grid penalty for Sochi for the crash with Lewis Hamilton, but paddock opinions are divided on whether the punishment is entirely fair.

Top Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko told "I don't know whether it's fair. If you look at Silverstone at the same time, then certainly not. But we'll just try to make the best of it in Sochi."

Fighting at the limit

Many believe that if any driver deserves more of the blame, Dutchman Verstappen is renowned for his uncompromising and aggressive style. Formula 1 legend Fernando Alonso, however, thinks it was just an "unfortunate situation".

The Alpine driver insisted: "They are two champions who fight to the very limit. Verstappen is always very aggressive, even more so with Hamilton. So if you put them together in the same corner, they exaggerate - but these moments are part of F1. If a penalty is applied every time, there will be no more competition because no one will try to overtake.

"It was an unfortunate situation because of the corner, the kerbs and other factors. The car jumped a little, the wheels touched, and the rubber made it jump into the air. But it is a very low speed - about 40km/h."

Although much was made of the way Verstappen's rear-wheel may actually have impacted Hamilton's Halo-protected head, Alonso thinks there was "no danger" in an incident that was "not a big thing".

"Silverstone was worse," said the Spaniard. "It's a racing incident. Lewis tries to force Max to miss the corner into turn one; Max stays there, but the corner ends, and he reaches the kerb. Giovinazzi and Leclerc did the same thing, and Stroll and Perez also, but as they didn't touch rubber-to-rubber, the same outcome did not occur."

Considering the options

So with Red Bull obviously not officially protesting the penalty, the energy drink-owned camp is now looking straight ahead to Sochi - another circuit that is expected to suit Mercedes. One option for Red Bull is for Verstappen to double-up his penalty with another one to install a necessary fourth Honda power unit.

Marko insists: "That has not yet been decided. But I do think that you can overtake rather well in Sochi. Sochi has been a Mercedes track in the past, but we have been competitive everywhere this year. So if everything works together perfectly, then we can also challenge Mercedes there."

And 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve expects Verstappen to keep the pressure on seven-time world champion Hamilton as high as possible in Russia.

He told Corriere Della Sera: "Verstappen has been better this season. He has made no real mistakes and has always been on the attack. Lewis, on the other hand, has shown weaknesses. And Mercedes, too - more so than Red Bull. After Rosberg left, they had an easy life. Maybe Lewis fell asleep a little, but he has suddenly woken up this year and remains a phenomenon."

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