Christian Horner expects Red Bull Racing to be the victim of more grid penalties in 2017 after both drivers started with fresh engines in the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.
Both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen switched to their fifth power units at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, which was a tactical decision to ensure they have a problem-free Singapore Grand Prix, but team principal Horner does not believe they can go through the remainder of the season without bringing in more engines.
“We are for sure going to incur a further penalty,” said Horner. “I hope we have the choice strategically where we take that penalty, but it is not likely we will get to the end of the year without incurring another penalty.”
What does please Horner is that Renault has taken the criticism of their power unit reliability on board, and is now hoping for further progress to be made in the remainder of the season.
“They have certainly responded, which is encouraging,” admitted Horner. “But the problem is, they were new engines in Monza, so if we would have had an issue with the first engine in its cycle it would have been fairly catastrophic.
“The encouraging thing is that they seem to be taking it seriously. They are not putting their head in the sand and hopefully that will follow an upward trend between now and the end of the year.”