Daniel Ricciardo fears Red Bull will start to serve penalties soon following all the problems Renault had during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.
Ricciardo was forced to change his engine after qualifying, and is now on the third of the four units he can use before he is penalised.
Teammate Daniil Kvyat retired from the race with a broken engine, the same problem that affected sister team Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen near the end of the grand prix.
Ricciardo thinks penalties are inevitable now.
"I think we are going to get copped at least with one," said Ricciardo. "We've already gone through two of the ICEs, or whatever.
"Eventually we are going to have to serve penalties, but hopefully the reliability improves.
"My car today was fine, but Max and Daniil went up in smoke, so still some work to do."
Kvyat added: "It's not an easy situation but we have to stay strong. We are all together in this and soon we will overcome all these problems."
Anti-stall kicked in at start
Ricciardo finished in ninth position after a disastrous start from seventh on the grid, from which he dropped to the back of the pack.
The Australian said his anti-stall system had kicked in.
"The start was what shaped our race. We got into anti-stall, and I'm still not sure why, and then we got stuck in a bit of traffic," he said.
"I didn't really feel we could get the option tyre working, and I wanted to go on the prime, but then the team said the prime didn't look so good so we had to go back on the option.
"At the end of the race the pace was better and that was on the prime, so maybe we'll have a look and see if we could have done something better there."