Monaco GP: Daniel Ricciardo gets new Renault engine before Max Verstappen


Max Verstappen tested the new power unit last week reported that it looked a very positive step. (Source: Reuters)

Red Bull’s teenage race winner Max Verstappen will have to wait to get his hands on Renault’s newest Formula One engine with Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo given priority for Sunday’s showcase Monaco Grand Prix.

The 18-year-old Dutch driver, who became the sport’s youngest winner 10 days ago in Spain, tested the new power unit last week and reported on Wednesday that it looked a “very positive step”.

Renault had planned to introduce the new engine in Canada next month but have made one available for Red Bull for Monaco after indications that it could bring a gain of up to half a second a lap.

Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen will get the one available to the Renault works team.

“I’m looking forward to using it in Canada,” said Verstappen, when asked when he would get his.

He said Ricciardo, who set a lap record last year on his way to fifth place and is ahead in the standings after five races, had the new one badged as a Tag Heuer for the tight and twisty Monaco track.

Victory in Barcelona made Verstappen the youngest ever race winner and he expected to see more Dutch fans on Sunday.

That astonishing success, on his debut for the team after moving up from Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso, was helped by Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg colliding and strategy decisions also playing into his hands.

The teenager said he would be going about Monaco in the same way as Barcelona.

“We’ll try to find a really good set-up in the car and try to get very comfortable on this track because in the end that’s very important to go fast and we’ll see where it ends up,” he said.

“I won the race (in Spain), we’ll see what happens now in the next few races.

“Of course Mercedes is still very strong so it will be difficult to beat them at the moment but we’ll do our best.”

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