Red Bull Racing has taken the unprecedented step of fitting the same Renault V8 engine that contested the British and German grands prix to the back of David Coulthard's RB4 for this weekend's Hungarian race, despite the F1 rules insisting that engines should only have to last for two rounds.
While team-mate Mark Webber will get a fresh powerplant for his quest to return to the points after a disappointing outing at Hockenheim that saw the Australian retire with a rare engine failure, the team has taken a tactical decision to keep Coulthard, who lasted less than a lap in his home race, on the same engine for a third weekend.
"Mark will have a new V8 in Hungary but David will use his engine for a third consecutive weekend – the first time we have taken this decision," Renault engine guru Fabrice Lom confirmed, "First of all, his V8 has not done too much running and we are not especially worried about its reliability. Plus, having our two drivers out of synch on the engine cycle means that we won't be putting all our eggs in the same basket.
"This decision will also help us in the second half of the season in terms of the logistical challenge. And, finally, it means that David will not have to use the same engine in Spa and Monza, which are two of the toughest challenges on the calendar."
Lom admits that Hockenheim was particularly disappointing for the Red Bull team, and for Renault, after Webber's engine failure, but is confident of a return to form at the Hungaroring.
"We were not as competitive at Hockenheim as we had been at Silverstone - that's a situation that we discovered during the test in the week before the race," he revealed, "But the team worked very hard and we continued making progress so that both cars were in the top ten [in qualifying]. However, seeing Toro Rosso and Toyota so close, we knew that it would be a difficult weekend and we ended up without any points. That is disappointing, especially when the championship is so tight, but we hope to rediscover our usual speed in Hungary.
"The test that we had in Jerez was very encouraging and we will aim to finish in the points with both cars. The track is not very demanding for the engine - it is more a test for the chassis. If it is hot, we will have the aerodynamic advantage on our side because the cooling demands of the Renault V8 are supposed to be less than those of our competitors and we can drive with closed bodywork even in very hot conditions."