Daniel Ricciardo could be set to take a grid penalty for Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix after admitting Red Bull was considering changing the engine on his RB13 Formula 1 car following a poor qualifying display.

Ricciardo was left confused by tyre warm-up issues through qualifying as he struggled to P7 overall, behind Force India's Esteban Ocon and five places back from teammate Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo confirmed after the session he could take a grid penalty in order to have additional power unit elements to get him to the end of the season, believing it would be better to drop back in Mexico than at the next race in Brazil.

"It has been mentioned. If qualifying went better I probably wouldn’t have that discussion," Ricciardo said.

"As well, the problems that Toro Rosso had this weekend, there are some doubts with what we’ve got at the moment. So it is in discussions.

"For us this weekend this [power unit] is towards the end of its life, and this track with the altitude works them a lot harder, so we knew that there would be a bit of a risk here, but for sure there has been quite a few failures this weekend.

"From that point of view, we are trying to weigh up whether we take the risk and run the race and risk something happening, or we do take the penalty and probably escape a penalty in Brazil.

"If I was starting on the front row we would not be talking about this, but that is the way it is going."

Ricciardo admitted the prospect to taking a penalty was tough to deal with given he wants to race, but understands that the team must take the best decision for his season.

"I don’t like conceding, just get stuck into it and race. So, for sure my heart would want to race and try to move forward," Ricciardo said.

"But I also have to take the emotion out of it and think with my head. If I look at Brazil, it is probably better to take a penalty here.

"Tough one. We have a little time to figure it out."