MONTREAL (Reuters) - Daniel Ricciardo could yet escape a Canadian Grand Prix grid penalty despite Red Bull technical head Adrian Newey saying earlier in the week that he would have one.
The Australian told reporters on Thursday that while the MGU-K unit used at the previous race in Monaco had been destroyed, the team hoped one from earlier in the season remained useable.
The MGU-K recovers the energy generated while braking and forms part of the Renault power unit.
Drivers are allowed only two for the whole season before incurring a 10-place penalty, and the Monaco MGU-K was already Ricciardo’s second.
“We’re hoping that what we start with tomorrow will run all weekend and if that’s the case, then no penalties,” said Ricciardo, who has two free practice sessions on Friday.
“I guess there was a little bit of miscommunication (earlier in the week). I would much rather take the penalties elsewhere,” he added.
“We’ve got good momentum right now and it’s a circuit where it’s tricky to overtake so you don’t want to be starting 10th or 15th, or somewhere down there. We’ll try and survive this weekend.”
Ricciardo won in Monaco, despite completing almost two thirds of the race with no MGU-K, and is third in the championship.
The Australian took the first grand prix win of his career in Montreal in 2014 and was third last year.
Newey had told Reuters on Monday that Ricciardo would “definitely be taking some penalties in Montreal.”
“The K is definitely a penalty,” he added then, describing the one used in Monaco as “a burnt out, charred wreck.”
The next race after Canada is the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet and Ricciardo said he would rather take a penalty there.
“It could come as soon as Paul Ricard,” he said. “When I heard whispers about a potential penalty here, at that point I was like ‘I’ll take it in Paul Ricard but not here’.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis