Daniel Ricciardo says the last few years have taught him not to expect too much from Renault’s latest power unit upgrade at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
Red Bull will take the latest specification of Renault power unit at Monza this weekend, with Ricciardo starting from the back of the grid as a result as he will exceed the number of power unit components permitted per year. Although he will drive for Renault from next season onward, the Australian admits he has low expectations when it comes to upgrades from the French manufacturer.
“I hope it’s good,” Ricciardo said. “I’ll try on Friday then we’ll make a decision what to expect with it. I always try not to expect too much — I think it’s natural over the last few years. I expect to see something but whether it’s one-tenth, two-tenths, three-tenths, we’ll see. But if there’s an improvement that’s better than not. I do expect an improvement from it but I couldn’t tell you in terms of lap time. A few tenths would be nice.
“It was a team choice but I didn’t disagree with it. I would love to start towards the front one year in Monza because in the end on race day we always have a pretty good race car. It would be nice but looking at Singapore, that’s a place you can’t risk having a penalty with the package we had.”
Asked if he was worried about reliability with the new engine, Ricciardo added: “We’ll see tomorrow.
“Driving it tomorrow gives us a chance to assess everything. But right now I’m not concerned about it. Right now in my head it’s just going to be better.”
However, Ricciardo admits he is expecting to have to take further engine penalties later in the season, given the way the first part of the year has panned out.
“Yeah, it’s likely I’ll have another one at some point. If we could get from Singapore through without any penalties I think that would be above target for now. So it’s likely I’ll have another one at some point.”