Two of Renault’s customer teams already have a number of power unit penalties for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix as reliability continues to be an issue.
Following a troublesome Mexican Grand Prix that saw four of the six Renault-powered cars retire – with only Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly finishing – both Red Bull and Toro Rosso need to take penalties at this weekend’s race at Interlagos.
The most high-profile penalty is for Daniel Ricciardo, with the Australian taking an eighth MGU-H that results in a grid drop of 10 places. Ricciardo also had a grid penalty in Mexico, but retired early in the race despite Red Bull having opted to change his power unit ahead of the race to try and safeguard against Renault’s reliability problems.
Ricciardo is joined by the Toro Rosso pair of Gasly and Brendon Hartley in taking an eighth MGU-H, also causing both drivers to receive a drop of ten positions on the grid on Sunday. However, FP1 brought more trouble for both drivers, with Hartley stopping on the run to the finish line with smoke pouring out the back of his car on just his third lap of the day.
Gasly didn’t fare much better than his teammate, with the Frenchman completing only five laps before returning to the pits where Toro Rosso was seen working on the rear of the car. With Gasly not returning, the team completed a total of just seven laps and could well face more penalties as a result.
Only McLaren-Honda has suffered worse reliability with its MGU-H this season, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne having used 11 and 12 of the component respectively in the 18 races so far.