It has been announced this afternoon that Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat will definitely receive grid penalties for another Renault engine change ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
After the last race in Belgium two weeks ago, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner suggested that it was “most likely” both RB11s would require a sixth engine ahead of F1’s trip to the power circuit that is Monza.
This afternoon, Horner has now confirmed to the media that his drivers Ricciardo and Kvyat will be handed 10-place penalties, as it will be the first time a sixth element of the power unit will have been used this season. Horner confirmed the following:-
‘We’ll be taking a penalty this weekend with both cars, which will be power unit six. We’re out of mileage on the units we’ve got, and we need to do what we can to get to the end of the year.
‘We’ve decided to take it tactically at Monza because it’s a track where you are flat out for 75 per cent of it, so of course it’s not going to be our strongest circuit of the year.’
This season proven itself to be considerably uncompetitive for Renault, with them being down on power compared to rivals Mercedes and Ferrari, while even newcomers Honda believe they now have a 25bhp advantage on them.
At the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago in Spa, Honda and McLaren cleverly exploited a change to the regulations by making a double engine change to the cars driven by Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
With the units also requiring additional turbochargers and energy recovery systems, Alonso and Button ended up accruing grid penalties of 105 places between them. Until a change in the rules recently, they would have been converted into in-race penalties, only for the FIA to get rid of this proceedure as they were deemed by many to be too harsh.
This resulted in the McLaren duo simply starting at the back of the grid, but with their cars possessing a stash of new systems to carry them forward over the next few races. This system was introduced and was aimed at avoiding further penalties for drivers affected by it.
Given McLaren managed to make a double engine change and only started at the rear of the field, there is a possibility Red Bull and Renault may consider something similar this weekend at Monza and we can only wait and see what Red Bull decide on the matter.