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2018 F1

Higher reliability risk in Red Bull, team decline to use new Renault MGU-K

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Red Bull will not use a new ‘MGU-K’ unit supplied by Renault this weekend in Austria.

Marca reports that Renault has been using the 2017 version of the energy recovery component so far this year, but that the new specification is finally ready.

However, fitting the new unit will result in penalties for the Renault-powered drivers, including those at the works team, McLaren, and Red Bull.

“It will be available in Austria for all the cars that want it,” said Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul.

“It so happens that not all the teams have chosen to use the new specification, but it’s something that we’ve been very much waiting for.”

It is believed Renault and McLaren will use the new MGU-K in Austria, but Red Bull doesn’t want to take penalties at its home race at the Red Bull Ring.

“It’s a problem that some have chosen not to use it,” Abiteboul said. “It means they will continue to use the MGU-K of a previous technical specification with a higher reliability risk.

“But that is our philosophy — to accept the choice of the teams that have all the information,” he added.

The alteration comes instantly after Renault factory team driver Carlos Sainz Jr suffered a failure with the old spec MGU-K in the closing laps of the French GP, dropping him from sixth to eighth.

“It’s a part that we know was fragile, it’s a part that we deliberately decided to extend the life of, because we knew that there was a new definition, a new spec coming up, with better performance, better packaging and with a better reliability level,” Abiteboul added.

“It’s coming next weekend, but it’s two laps too late for that particular MGU-K!

“Having said that it’s not that bad, because it’s really showing that we are pushing to the limit and we are accepting to take risks.”

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