Red Bull’s star driver Daniel Ricciardo has voiced his concern that Renault might have to build even more engines to see him through the season.
This comes despite the three-time Grand Prix winner serving a 25-place grid penalty for taking two new power units this weekend – his fifth and sixth elements of the season.
Speaking after qualifying at Monza on Saturday, after the first of his brand new engines had already failed in the final free practice session, Ricciardo explained his future fears.
“We are short on engines,” said Ricciardo. “There's literally no other engines available. I think we've got two now, but if one more goes then they need to start building more at the factory.”
Ricciardo said completing one lap in Q1 “was already a victory” after his team changed the engine in 1h40m.
He added: “I think everyone cheered when I left the box, and I was quite happy with the lap, considering the chaos of the situation. The mileage on this engine should get us by, but as we saw this morning, a new one went, so it’s pretty unpredictable.”
Last row of the grid start
Ricciardo will start 19th, ahead only of Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen.
“To get any sort of points would be good,” said Ricciardo. “Anything in the top 10 would be a great weekend, because even our one-lap pace has sort of been on the cusp.
“You can have a fun race, pass some people, practice my overtaking a bit more. You always find some positives.”
Singapore the big target
Like McLaren’s drivers, Ricciardo admitted that he has already has its sights set on the streets of Singapore, where the power deficit to the Mercedes- and Ferrari-powered teams shouldn’t be so much of a disadvantage.
“We are sort of looking towards Singapore,” he said. “I think [Monza’s] a track we knew we were never going to score big points on, so in a way we don't feel like we are losing that much.
“If we knew we had a penalty coming in Singapore, that would be a lot harder to handle, but knowing it's here, where maybe the best would be a top eight, it's not really a big issue.
“I think short term we have Singapore to look forward to in terms of having a good results. I haven't heard too many updates on what's happening in the future or what sort of specs we are going to get.
“I wouldn't be too optimistic. When we get in the car then I'll start to ask more questions, but until we get it I'll just keep quiet and keep driving."