Red Bull has confirmed Daniel Ricciardo will incur a grid penalty at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix, where he will take a fresh Formula 1 engine.
Following a number of reliability issues throughout the opening half of the season, Ricciardo has already used his allowed quota of engine components in 2018.
But considering the well-documented straight-line speed deficits of its Renault engine – which has continued to lag behind F1 rivals Ferrari and Mercedes this year - and with the upcoming race taking place at the high-speed Monza circuit, the team has opted to take the hit at an event it is not expecting to be competitive at.
“We will be trying to get ourselves on the best footing really,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. “Daniel is going to be taking an engine penalty for sure next weekend.”
Horner also confirmed Max Verstappen, who claimed his first podium during Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, will move onto his third power unit in Italy, though the Dutchman should avoid a grid drop.
“Max will be taking his 3rd unit as well there, hopefully without penalty,” he added. “So we’re going to try and get ourselves into the best situation we can. Going to Singapore, which is probably our next chance of being able to give Ferrari and Mercedes a harder time.”
Ricciardo retired in the closing stages of the race in Spa to save engine mileage after getting caught up in a huge first corner crash involving McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, leaving him two laps down on the rest of the field after a trip to the pits to fix a broken rear wing.
“Daniel was lucky to get away, but unlucky that it ended, effectively, his race,” Horner explained. “The boys did an incredible job to get that rear wing turned around.
“What should take 45 minutes, they did in about 10. We put him back in the race, we thought if there was a safety car, a bit of rain, you got to be there, so we kept trying.”
Ricciardo started from the back in July’s German Grand Prix after receiving a substantial grid drop, having moved onto new MGU-K, energy store and control electronics components.