Verstappen won't take engine penalty at Monza, Hamilton not ruled out

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Max Verstappen has confirmed he will not be taking his engine-related grid penalty at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman will almost certainly need a fourth power unit before the end of this season after his second one was too badly damaged in the high-speed crash at Silverstone, despite Honda's attempts to salvage it.

Red Bull was particularly pleased not to have picked Spa, when Max took pole and won the 'race' by default as rain meant it was reduced to just two laps behind the Safety Car.

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This weekend at Monza was another strong candidate due to the ability to overtake and the fact it is traditionally one of Red Bull's weaker circuits.

“We haven’t really decided yet where to take it because this engine is still very new so it’s definitely not the plan to take it here," Verstappen stated on Thursday.

Interestingly, his championship rival Lewis Hamilton now also appears likely to take a fourth engine in the final nine races after an issue during practice in Zandvoort last weekend.

And a Mercedes spokesperson told GPFans that this weekend hasn't been ruled out if the opportunity arises, much like Red Bull did with Sergio Perez last Sunday.

Certainly, Mercedes will avoid it if possible as Monza is expected to suit the W12 better than the RB16B, with Verstappen admitting his concerns.

“I expect Monza to suit Mercedes as it hasn’t been our best track for the last few years, but this year we are more competitive so you never know,” said Verstappen.

“If we continue what we have been doing, working well together as a team, and nail every little detail then we can be competitive but Mercedes might have a top speed advantage on us.

"Nevertheless, this weekend again, with sprint qualifying and stuff, it's going to be very different," he added. "But I definitely don't expect it to be like Zandvoort."