Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed its latest power unit update is focused on greater reliability after suffering continued mechanical trouble over the opening rounds of the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Just two races after its previous reliability upgrade with its motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K), following a continued run of breakdowns triggered by the element, Renault will introduce a fresh upgrade believed to be a new internal combustion engine (ICE) for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Both Renault drivers have confirmed the move is to improve its reliability before shifting focus to performance with the new element.

“It is mainly for reliability. I don’t know how much detail they have gone into what parts have changed,” Ricciardo said. “But some materials, I know what they are but I don’t know how much I can say. But some have changed to help reliability.

“For now that is the target but if we see that it is more reliable then we can start again pushing the power curve and all those other things that others do in qualifying.”

“We should be on top of those issues and be more in control and not suffer those problems anymore,” Nico Hulkenberg added.

While the new parts won’t be officially confirmed until the Renault cars take to the track in FP1 for the Spanish GP, when the FIA deems any new elements are used for the first time under the sporting regulations, it means the risk of grid penalties grows almost inevitable for the Renault drivers later in the season.

Hulkenberg has already used two ICE units this season meaning a new third element would push him to the limit under F1 rules for a potential grid penalty. Ricciardo has used just one ICE unit in 2019.

 

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