“We are introducing the Spec 4 version of our engine at this event,” said Honda’s F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe.
“As usual, we have focused on improving both reliability and performance, in the hope of achieving even better results with both teams in this part of the season.
“Our plan is that only Albon and Kvyat will run it at Spa, for strategic reasons, looking at the rest of the season as a whole.”
That means Austran and German GP winner Verstappen will likely complete the Belgian weekend with the Spec 3 Honda engine he has used since the French GP in June.
In theory he would switch to the Spec 4 engine for next week’s Italian GP at Monza, another power-sensitive circuit where it would be easier for him to make up ground from a back-of-the-grid start.
The rules state that the first time a driver receives a 10-place grid penalty the first time they use an additional engine element, and only a five-place drop for further additional elements.
However, when a driver changes teams he takes over the engine allocation of the driver he replaces: so Albon and Gasly take over one another’s engine numbers.