Verstappen and Leclerc set for back of grid starts in Belgium

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Red Bull’s Formula One world championship leader Max Verstappen and Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc will start Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix near the back of the grid due to engine penalties.

The governing FIA said both drivers had exceeded their allowed use of engine components, triggering the automatic penalties.

McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon will also have grid drops for the same reasons while Haas driver Mick Schumacher has a 10 place penalty.

The penalties will boost the chances of Mercedes’s seven times champion Lewis Hamilton and team mate George Russell taking a first win of the season.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will also fancy their chances with their teammates likely to start far behind them.

Verstappen leads closest rival Leclerc by a mighty 80 points after 13 of 22 races.