Renault has announced a power unit upgrade at the French Grand Prix, with only Daniel Ricciardo receiving the new internal combustion engine (ICE).
Reliability concerns earlier in the season led to the Renault and McLaren drivers both taking a second power unit without benefiting from any major upgrade, and Nico Hulkenberg then exceeded his quota for a number of power unit elements at the Spanish Grand Prix. However, encouraging progress with an updated ICE has led Renault to bring forward its introduction, allowing Ricciardo to run it at the team’s home race.
“We will introduce a new Spec B ICE this weekend on Daniel’s car,” managing director Cyril Abiteboul said. “This ICE represents a good step forward on performance.
“Nico will take his new engine at a different race, but as he will incur a penalty for exceeding the three ICEs permitted per year, we don’t want it to be in France, our home race. The ICE was scheduled for use at a later race, but we are ahead of schedule so are pleased to be able to use here.”
As well as the expected gain in performance from the updated ICE, Renault is also bringing a number of chassis upgrades to Paul Ricard as it looks to overhaul McLaren in the constructors’ championship. The team confirmed its aerodynamic updates include narrower bodywork, a revised nose cape and new floor.
The Renault engine upgrade comes at the same time as Honda introducing a new power unit, being used by both Red Bull drivers and Daniil Kvyat.