Perez stopped with a power unit problem in Q2 at and, as investigations continue about what went wrong, the team knows it will need to fit a fresh one in the morning.

A switch to the latest Phase 3 version would require Perez to start from the pitlane at , as it would be classified as a change of car specification, so the team has elected to take a grid penalty instead and commit to a fresh Phase 2 version.

Team principal said: “I think what we are going to do is fit a Phase 2, a new one. Start maybe 19th. I think we will start ahead of [Max] Verstappen as he has taken a new powertrain and we outqualified him. So we will start 19th and see how we go.”

Perez had been running an older Spec 2, which was first introduced in , because the new Spec 3 version he ran in Belgium last weekend suffered an early failure.

And with some minor concerns about reliability of the latest power unit, committing to a Phase 2 – which should last until the end of the campaign – will give some flexibility.

“If we ever go to the Phase 3 then it is a trade off between more performance and penalties,” added Szafnauer. “But say, heaven forbid, one time we spin off in Q1 or something fails in Q1 and you are last anyway, then you can introduce the Phase 3.”

Asked by if reliability concerns had prompted the decision to stick to the Phase 2 for now, Szafnauer said: “I don’t know enough so you need to ask

“I don’t know if there is this infantile failure that you get in some products, like electronics, where if it doesn’t fail in the beginning, the probability of it failing goes really, really low. But the probability of failure at the beginning is higher. But that is one for .

“However, they are really, really good at reliability in general and they will get on top of it. They are really strong on that.”


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