Earlier this week, Red Bull tech supremo Adrian Newey said that a defective part in the Monaco race winner’s power unit would need replacing and therefore incur an automatic grid drop under F1 rules.
However, Riccardo revealed on Thursday in Montreal that Red Bull can re-use an MGU-K component that was swapped out in China again, and therefore put off a penalty for now.
“Currently no, so no, the answer is no,” said the Australian when asked if he would get a penalty this weekend. “If something happens in practice and we are forced to change something, then I will get a penalty. But for now, we still have enough parts to run, and if it runs reliable we will do the whole weekend with it.”
Ricciardo, a winner in Canada in 2014, said he anticipates a penalty in the near future, potentially as early as the next race in France. But said he would prefer to delay it until then rather than take the hit in Montreal, particularly as he has the momentum after victory in Monaco - and also because the hypersoft tyres he used so well there are making another appearance this weekend.
“I guess, it could come as soon as Paul Ricard,” said Ricciardo. “When I heard whispers of taking a penalty here, at that point I was like ‘I will take it in Paul Ricard but not here’.
“This is such a difficult circuit for overtaking and having such good momentum at the moment I think a penalty would take a bit of wind out of our sails.
“If we can escape this weekend without it, then I’d rather take it somewhere else.
“We will try and go as long as we can to delay. The earlier we take a penalty then maybe we have to take another one before the year is out.”
“We try and delay it as much as we can, but also, we know that, especially coming here with the hypersofts, we were good on the hypersofts in Monaco, maybe it gives us a chance this weekend of having a strong race.
“We feel on paper this circuit should suit us more than a couple of the others coming up. Winning two in a row would be nice…starting 15th would [make victory] very unlikely here.”
Ricciardo has won two out of six races this season to sit third in the drivers’ standings, 38 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton and 24 behind Sebastian Vettel. And the latter has indicated he fully expects Red Bull to be dangerous again this weekend...