Red Bull remain the only Renault-powered team on the grid to try the French firm’s more powerful Spec C power unit this season – including Renault themselves. But despite Max Verstappen using the extra grunt to net a strong second place in Singapore last time out, the team are set to revert back to the less highly-strung Spec B for this weekend's Russian Grand Prix.
Having first tried the Spec C unit at Monza, Verstappen then spent the entire Singapore weekend suffering with driveability issues. Despite that, he still managed to qualify second – although he felt he could have been on pole without his engine issues – before driving to second in the race, finishing just nine seconds behind Lewis Hamilton’s clean-running Mercedes W09.
“The amount of problems I’ve had today – even in qualifying – with the engine, and not having a smooth run, to be second is unbelievable,” was Verstappen’s review of the weekend, with the Dutchman also revealing that his team had to detune the engine to get it working more reliably. “It just shows we have an amazing car.”
Because of those issues, Red Bull have decided to put the Spec C experiment on ice, instead opting to fit fresh Spec B units to Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo’s cars in Russia – a move which will entail grid penalties for both drivers.