Renault is introducing an upgraded power unit at the Belgian Grand Prix, meaning that both Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg will receive grid penalties.
The team has described the updated internal combustion engine as spec C, featuring “minor upgrades to reliability and performance.” The new ICE will be used on both of the works cars, which will result in a five-place grid penalty for both Ricciardo and Hulkenberg on Sunday.
While Renault was first to confirm the upgrade, it was also available to McLaren and Carlos Sainz has similarly taken the ICE to receive a similar grid penalty, although RACER understands the new spec might not be raced. There remains a possibility that Lando Norris will join his teammate in taking the upgrade later in the weekend.
The upgrade means only Ferrari is not bringing a new power unit to the Belgian Grand Prix — traditionally targeted for performance improvements due to the long full throttle sections both at Spa-Francorchamps and at the following race in Monza.
Honda confirmed its spec 4 power unit will be introduced this weekend on Alexander Albon’s Red Bull and Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, while Mercedes has an update for both the works team and its two customers Racing Point and Williams.
The full list of penalties at present has Albon, Kvyat and Lance Stroll starting from the back of the grid, and Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Sainz dropping five places.
This story has been updated to include additional information about McLaren’s plans for the upgraded Renault PU.