Daniel Ricciardo will get first use of Renault’s new Formula 1 engine spec over the course of the Monaco Grand Prix instead of Max Verstappen.
Although the Renault customer power unit inside the Red Bull RB12 has been rebadged as TAG Heuer for this year following last season’s high-profile fallout, the team still has parity with the works outfit when it comes to upgrades. After a promising two-day test at Barcelona last week, the engine is to be introduced this weekend, but only for one driver per team.
Kevin Magnussen has been chosen over Jolyon Palmer for Renault, while Ricciardo has now been confirmed as having a potential advantage over new teammate Verstappen this weekend. By next month’s Canadian GP – when the engine was originally scheduled to arrive – Renault will have enough components to put all four drivers onto the new specification.
Verstappen, who became the youngest winner of a grand prix last time out in Spain, claimed the new engine to be “a positive step” following the test.
“I felt comfortable with it. It’s very positive we gained so much,” said Verstappen. “It’s not so easy to find that out of the car, and I’m looking forward to using it in Canada.”
It is anticipated that the engine should improve lap times around Monaco by 0.2 seconds, while for a power track such as Montreal the gain will be 0.5s.