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Red Bull and Ricciardo mull tactical engine change

Red Bull Racing is considering changing Daniel Ricciardo’s engine before this afternoon’s Mexican GP given his relatively low grid start and the issues which hit junior squad Toro Rosso.

The Australian driver was left ‘confused and helpless’ after qualifying, clocking in P7 and a almost one second off the pace compared to poleman Sebastian Vettel and team mate Max Verstappen.

A disappointing grid start coupled with the engine troubles which hit the Renault power units of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley at Toro Rosso yesterday have brought a tactical engine change into consideration.

  • Ricciardo ‘confused and helpless’ after botched qualifying

“The problems Toro Rosso has had this weekend, there’s some doubts with what we’ve got at the moment,” said Ricciardo on Motorsport.com.

“This weekend, this engine is towards the end of its life and this track with the altitude and that, it works them a lot harder.

“We knew there would be a bit of a risk here, but for sure there’s been quite a few failures this weekend so far.

“From that point of view as well we’re trying to weigh up whether we take the risk and just run the race and risk something happening or we do take a penalty and then that way we probably escape a penalty in Brazil. These are the things we are trying to weigh up now.”

The Aussie says the dilemma has come about as a result of his disappointing performance in qualifying.

“If we were starting on the front row, I don’t think we’d be talking about this but that’s the way it’s going,” added the Australian.

“I don’t like conceding, I’d love to get stuck in and race, so for sure my heart would want to race and try and move forward. But I’ve also got to take the emotion out of it and think with my head.

“If I look at Brazil, we’re probably better to take a penalty here. It’s a tough one. We’ve got a little bit of time to figure it out but for sure tonight we’re going to decide.”

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