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2018 F1

Ricciardo to escape Canadian GP penalty

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Daniel Ricciardo looks set to escape a penalty ahead of the Canadian grand prix.

Despite winning in Monaco, the Australian nursed a malfunctioning MGU-K unit to the chequered flag.

Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko initially said the unit would not have to be replaced, but Adrian Newey disagreed, arguing the damage had been extensive and a change would cost Ricciardo penalties.

But when asked in Montreal if he will take a penalty, Ricciardo answered: “Not yet. Unless something happens in practice. But for today the answer is no.”

He admitted that the French GP in a fortnight, however, could be a different story.

“Yes, it could happen at Paul Ricard,” said the 28-year-old. “And if I get a penalty, I’d prefer it there because we have momentum at the moment.”

On other matters, Ricciardo mischievously refused to answer questions about his future, including whether he has signed a deal with Ferrari or Mercedes.

“Answer one: maybe. Answer two: maybe,” he smiled.

And when asked if winning in Monaco drove up his price for Red Bull, Ricciardo said: “Maybe!”

Marko said he is confident Ricciardo will eventually sign.

“We’re not rushing and we don’t put him under pressure. He knows we really want to extend with him,” said the team official.

“Monaco showed us not only how good he is, but also how good we are,” Marko told Auto Bild.

But Mercedes may still be an option for Ricciardo, with Williams’ Paddy Lowe revealing: “Toto (Wolff) has been talking to Ricciardo for three years.”

Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen is having a much tougher 2018, and he even told a journalist on Thursday that he will “head butt” anyone who asks tough questions about crashes.

Boss Christian Horner told Bild newspaper: “I understand that Max is in the spotlight right now and everything is under a microscope. But that’s the way it is.”

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