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Ricciardo set for Canadian GP grid penalties with engine upgrade

Written by  Jun 05, 2018

After the high of winning the Monaco GP, Daniel Ricciardo now faces the likelihood of starting at the back of the grid for this weekend's race in Canada.

Engine problems earlier in the year in Bahrain and China meant the Australian was already on the limit in terms of the allowed number of some components in the power unit and now, as Red Bull supplier Renault prepare to introduce a new upgrade in Montreal, it has been decided the pain of penalties is worth taking.

It is a major setback for Ricciardo, who some believe could be in the championship battle following his second win of the season in Monte Carlo, with chief technical officer Adrian Newey delivering the news on Sky Sports.

“He will definitely be taking some penalties in Montreal, we haven’t heard yet just how many,” he confirmed.

The likely components include a new battery and MGU-K after one of each was damaged beyond repair earlier in the season, although the kinetic energy recovery system which faltered in Monaco is expected to be available again.

Should that be the case, it would equate to a 15-place grid penalty which, based on Red Bull's usual qualifying performance would see Ricciardo start around P20.

However, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is considered a better track for overtaking, with possibilities into four corners around the layout meaning a typical feisty recovery is more likely in Canada than at some upcoming venues.

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As mentioned, this is to take advantage of an upgraded Renault engine but when asked what the advantage of that would be, the figure Newey suggested was quite small.

“It’s about 1% (more power), which is a tenth of a second. So it’s worth having but it’s not a make or break,” he stated.

It is the likelihood of further penalties down the road though, with Montreal only marking the third-way point in the season, which could make a Ricciardo title challenge less likely, particularly as Mercedes and Ferrari again prove very strong in terms of reliability.

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