Daniel Ricciardo will first test the third specification of Renault’s R.E.18 power unit in the upcoming race in Italy and receive a penalty at the start of the race, according to Red Bull’s Team F1 team boss Christian Horner.
Ricciardo will launch a new C-specification engine that was unavailable for Belgian GP, try it out on Friday’s free practice sessions, which will not trigger penalties, and then decide if the new engine has enough performance advantage to use it in qualifying and race.
If they decide to use the new Ricciardo engine, he will start from the back of the grid, on the track where they have no real chances against Mercedes and Ferrari anyway.
“Daniel will get a penalty in the next race because he will change the engine,” Horner told Autosport.
“There is a significant cost of integrating the engine into the car, as far as cooling is concerned and so on, so if there is a performance gain, which should exist with our fuel provider [ExxonMobil], we are happy to take the risk [with the new C specification].
“We will use the engine on Friday and then decide on Friday night if we will use it.”
Renault will not use the new engine unit specification because they have taken the new engines in Spa and Red Bull will first test the new engine and give Renault a look at its performance and reliability.
The new engine could also be used by Verstappen who will also get grid penalties as he already used three engines this season.
McLaren has no plans to use the third specification of the Renault power unit in Monza after a complete change of the Vandoorne unit in Belgium, while Alonso, due to the current engine usage, would also got a penalty for introducing new PU elements.