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2018 F1

Red Bull preparing for facing more penalties

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Red Bull expects to take engine penalties later in 2018. Although winning in China, Daniel Ricciardo has also suffered reliability trouble so far this year and is already onto his second out of three ‘power units’.

“We are sure that we will get penalties. We just have to make sure they happen on the right track,” Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko told Auto Motor und Sport.

So with penalties likely, a smart tactic might be for Renault to change tack now, plan to use four or five engines per driver in 2018 and accelerate development.

“You’d have to talk to Mr Abiteboul,” said Marko, referring to the Renault boss.

“We are always demanding performance. For Renault, we are as annoying as mosquitoes and we very much challenge the French mentality.”

Currently Red Bull powered by Renault. But the manufacturer has told team Principal Christian Horner that it doesn’t propose to extend that deal beyond the end of 2018.

That leaves Red Bull in need of a new supplier next season. As part of that process, sister team Toro Rosso has signed a deal with Honda this season – and if it’s a success, the senior team might follow suit.

But Horner insisted that other possibilities were also open to them.

“The great thing for us is that we have options, which is a situation we haven’t been in previously,” Horner told RACER magazine this week.

“We’ll take our time to evaluate those options,” he continued. “And then try and make the best informed decision we can during the course of the coming year.”

Horner said that they would be watching Toro Rosso’s progress with Honda closely in the coming months.

“It’s a great deal for Toro Rosso,” he said. “Honda have a great legacy in Formula 1. They have desire and ambition.

“As a sister team we’ll be keeping an interested eye on their progress during the first half of the year.”

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