Daniel Ricciardo did not know that his teammate Max Verstappen had an improved Renault F1 engine with more power even though he beat him in qualifying for the US GP in Austin.
Verstappen, Hulkenberg and Harltley have received new specifications of Renault’s R.E.17G F1 engine which brings some more power and with which Renault has tested certain engine concepts for 2018 and which is believed to be worth around two tenths of a second per lap.
For other drivers using Renault F1 engines, it was not planned to introduce a new specification until the end of the season due to mileage, and Daniel Ricciardo was surprised when journalists asked him about the difference between his and Verstappen engines.
“Did we have different engine specifications? I had no idea,” Ricciardo said.
“Seriously, I did not know. Which one is faster?”
When reporters explained him that Verstappen had a stronger engine, which would bring him 15 penalty spots at the start of the race, Ricciardo laughed and raised his fist in the air.
“I believe I will have more penalties in the next three races.”
“I’d love to say I won’t, but I probably will.”
When journalists asked if he was disappointed that Verstappen got a new specification, Ricciardo joked: “That’s why Max signed a new contract! I literally had no idea.”
“Maybe they told me and I did not listen.”
Ricciardo – Team doesn’t favour Verstappen
Although Verstappen signed a new contract earlier than anyone expected, and Horner said that Max could build a team around him, Ricciardo says he did not feel at any time that the team favors his teammate.
“So far, I have not experienced such a thing,” he said.
“If this happens you would know it because I would express my frustration. That’s not something I would hide.”
“I know he has dropped some records and that Red Bull would like to drop some more, which is OK, because it would favor the company’s reputation.”
“But behind closed doors, from the engineering standpoint of equality, I have never experienced such a thing.”
“Definitely you would know I was dissatisfied.”