Daniel Ricciardo was unconcerned by the power unit failure he suffered in Friday’s second practice session, the Renault driver insisting the engine – nicknamed ‘Pony’ – was on its last stretch.
Ricciardo completed just 17 laps in FP2 and was deprived of race sims in the session as a result of the engine’s failure, but the Aussie remained optimistic going forward.
“I think it’s RIP to that engine, so we’re going to have a little service tonight for it,” Ricciardo said.
“It was called Pony as well, so we had to put Pony down I think. That was the original spec, so it was definitely just a practice engine.
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“It would have been nice to get that to do a few more Fridays. But the word for now is that we’re gonna say ‘adios’ and put Pony down.
“The time sheets don’t show too much optimism, but we are better than that. We still have work to do,” he added.
“There is some lap time on the table that we can get quite quickly. But to put us in the P7, P8 area we do need to find a little more.
“I think we’re currently good enough to probably get inside the top 10, but just. I think we obviously want to get a bit deeper in there. So still a few things to discover on the car.”
In addition to getting a new engine for Saturday – without incurring any grid penalties, Ricciardo will also receive a new chassis, a consequence of the Aussie running over a kerb and cracking the car’s tub.
Renault initially ran its drivers on different set-ups on Friday, but Ricciardo said the settings eventually converged as the day unfolded.
“This morning Nico and myself split set-ups,” the Honey Badger explained.
“This afternoon we got them closer, but we’re still a bit different in some areas. So trying to understand what’s the best direction to go now.
“I think we’ll find it. We’re kind of there or thereabouts.
“There’s a few other things that we did on the sim which we might give a go tomorrow, but I don’t know.
“I don’t want to change too much, but I know we need to change a little bit to get to where we want to be.”
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