Penalties pile up as Red Bull and Toro Rosso go for double engine changes

Daniel Ricciardo, Dany Kvyat and Carlos Sainz are all set to make a double power unit change in Monza in response to the strategy adopted by McLaren at Spa.

After the Austrian GP the FIA decreed that no engine penalties carried into the race, and thus the maximum penalty could be a back of the grid start. McLaren took advantage of that in Belgium by doing two changes with both drivers, a move that helped to ensure a good supply of ‘healthy’ components for the last part of the season.

Red Bull and Toro Rosso have both decided to do the same at Monza, while Max Verstappen will make a single change for Saturday, and will thus also have penalties.

The strategy is also a response to Renault telling the teams that its full update package will probably not be available in Russia, as had been promised, and will now most likely be in Austin.

Both teams now have extra elements with which to tackle to Singapore, Japan and Russian GP weekends, and indeed in theory also have enough parts to get to the end of the season without further penalties if they do not actually use the upgraded package, even if it becomes available.

“The reasoning is that we take Monza as a place to introduce everything that they need to finish the season,” Renault’s Remi Taffin told this writer. “So from Saturday onwards we should be OK not introduce any more engines. What we decided with the teams was Monza was the place to take everything penalty we need, so we put everything for four drivers to go to the end.”

Despite the Spa tactics McLaren also has grid penalties in Monza, with Jenson Button currently on five, and Fernando Alonso on 10.

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