Daniel Ricciardo expects to be hit with further grid penalties before the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season, despite taking on a fresh engine at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver has already exceeded his permitted quota of power unit components this season - following a number of reliability failures earlier in the champion – and will drop down the grid at Monza this weekend in order to take on Renault’s new ‘spec C’ engine.

“It’s likely I’ll have another one [engine penalty] at some point,” Ricciardo conceded. “If we could get from Singapore through without any penalties I think that would be above target for now. So it’s likely I’ll have another one at some point.”

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Ricciardo said he backed Red Bull’s decision to take a grid drop at Monza, rather than running the risk of picking up engine penalties at Singapore, with the Milton Keynes squad highlighting the street circuit as a standout track for a competitive result.

“It was a team choice but I didn’t disagree with it,” he added. “I would love to start towards the front one year in Monza because in the end on race day we always have a pretty good race car. It would be nice but looking at Singapore that’s a place you can’t risk having a penalty with the package we had.”

The Australian is hoping to reap the rewards of the ‘Spec C’ power unit, though he admits he is keeping his expectations grounded.

“I hope it’s good. I’ll try on Friday then we’ll make a decision what to expect with it,” Ricciardo said. “I always try not to expect too much, I think it’s natural over the last few years.

“I expect to see something but whether it’s one-tenth, two-tenths, three-tenths, we’ll see. But if there’s an improvement that’s better than not. I do expect an improvement from it but I couldn’t tell you in terms of lap time from it. A few tenths would be nice.”

The Renault works team has chosen not to use the upgrade due to not being willing to take a risk on reliability given its ongoing close battle over fourth place in the constructors’ standings.

When asked if he has any concerns regarding reliability over the new update, Ricciardo replied: “We’ll see tomorrow. Driving it tomorrow gives us a chance to assess everything.

“But right now I’m not concerned about it. Until I drive it and I get a feeling for it. Right now in my head it’s just going to be better.”

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