Red Bull gives Renault upgrade to Daniel Ricciardo for Monaco GP

Daniel Ricciardo (L) will have a power boost over his Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen (R) at the Monaco GP this weekend.

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Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo will have the use of the upgraded Renault power unit in Monaco this weekend.

The engine was originally expected to be introduced in Canada but, as reported last week, testing in Barcelona went so well that the French manufacturer opted to fast-track it.

However, only two units could be readied in time, with one being given to Red Bull, so it was left to the two teams to decide which driver will have the benefits this weekend. Although outright power is obviously less important at Monaco, the two drivers will clearly have an advantage over their teammates.

“The power unit we have used since the first race in Australia was really a continuation of the work started in the ‘Spec D’ power unit we introduced at the tail end of 2015,” Renault’s top engineer Remi Taffin said last week. “We explored some concepts in that earlier iteration and the 2016 unit took them further, for example in the turbo.

“This new spec goes even further down the line and also includes significant modifications to the combustion system. It will make the ICE more powerful but also efficient, leading to a gain of around half a second per lap. We’ve used a small proportion of our token allocation for this upgrade.

“The current power unit used since Australia has had several smaller upgrades and all the drivers were very happy with the standard in Spain. In parallel, we’ve been working on the new spec since the start of the season but needed to sign off all the parts for reliability and mileage before using on track.”