Renault Reveal Ricciardo’s MGU-K Spike Gave One-Millionth of a Second Advantage

by Paul Hensby

The Renault F1 Team were disappointed that the Stewards in Singapore felt the need to disqualify Daniel Ricciardo from the results of Qualifying on Saturday, even though the MGU-K issue that ultimately sent him to the rear of the field was not on a lap that counted throughout the session.

Renault were summoned to the Steward’s room after the conclusion of Qualifying at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with Ricciardo’s car exceeding the maximum power limit of 120kW during one of his runs in Q1.

However, it was another lap of Ricciardo’s that did get him through to Q2, and even if it had been that lap with the power spike, the advantage would have been one millionth of a second.  Alan Permane and Remi Taffin represented Renault in the steward’s office but were informed that despite the issue not giving any performance advantage, it was still an offence that was punishable.

“The decision goes quite far into detailing that there was absolutely no advantage,” Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul said to Motorsport.com.  “It was not on a lap that counted, they wrote all of that themselves. A bit of an excuse of their own decision – I don’t think they feel extremely comfortable with their own decision.

“We are not challenging the fact that there was a bit of an over-rev when we hit the kerb. It’s the first time in Singapore that it’s happening.”

Renault will look into the cause of the power spike to ensure a reoccurrence does not happen again in the future, with Abiteboul acknowledging that it was kind of a surprise for it to happen in the first place, having not had any kind of similar experience in any previous session in 2019.

“We don’t know, maybe there is a system to review, and we will investigate that,” said Abiteboul.  “We’ve got some contingency measures to prevent that from happening.

“We need to understand why on one lap, on one kerb, from all the laps we’ve done this year and the previous years it has happened. That’s something that we still need to understand.”

Following his disqualification, Ricciardo will start at the back of the grid with new a MGU-K and new control electronics.  He would have earned a grid penalty for exceeding his limits for the season had he taken the new components had he not already be at the back of the grid.

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