Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan has dismissed the idea the team deliberately took on extra power unit parts in order to avoid penalties for the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix which represents Red Bull’s first home race with engine partners Honda.
All four Honda-powered drivers took grid penalties at the Russian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen, Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly initially hit with five-place drops for a new ‘Spec-4’ Internal Combustion Engines while Daniil Kvyat took on an all-new power unit which put him to the back of the grid at his home race.
Red Bull’s chief engineer Monaghan says the additional parts were taken with a view on all the remaining races in 2019 rather than just providing itself with strong engine weaponry for Honda’s home race at Suzuka next weekend.
“We haven’t taken penalties here solely for Suzuka,” Monaghan said. “We are in our first year with Honda and, if you look at it, we’ve not had an engine fail or anything like that.
“All the engines in the pool are still there. As part of the programme to get ourselves more competitive, we’ve opted to take just five places here. It will dent us from necessarily being with these guys on lap one – but it’s looking beyond Suzuka, we’re into next year.
“It would be nice for us to go well in Suzuka, wouldn’t it?”
With a healthy power unit pool for all of its drivers, both Red Bull and Toro Rosso are not expected to be hit with any further grid penalties for the Japanese Grand Prix, while it also anticipates not to suffer the same fate later in the season.