Italian GP: Hulkenberg to start at back of grid after engine change

Nico Hulkenberg is set to join Daniel Ricciardo at the back of the Italian Grand Prix grid after taking a complete new set of Renault Formula 1 power unit elements

Hulkenberg already took a new engine in Belgium, and was thus one of four drivers demoted to the back at Spa.

But he then received a 10-place grid penalty for Monza after a first corner Belgian GP crash, so Renault has decided to take advantage of the situation and added more new elements to Hulkenberg's pool, which should allow him to get to the end of the season without further penalty.

Ricciardo has also taken a complete set of new elements as planned and is using Renault's new 'Spec C', while Hulkenberg has stuck with the Spec B for reliability purposes.

Red Bull driver Ricciardo is expected to start Sunday's race at Monza from 19th, with Hulkenberg behind him, because the Australian was the first driver on track in FP1 and thus the first to use the replacement elements, having just beaten his 2019 team-mate to the end of the pitlane.

Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen is expected to take a Spec C V6 on Saturday, but he will not receive a penalty as he has only used two examples so far this year.

Despite his Monza sacrifice, Ricciardo expects to take another new power unit, and further penalties as a result, before the end of the year.

"It's likely I'll have another one at some point," he said when asked by Autosport about his penalty situation.

"If we could get from Singapore through, without any penalties, then that would be above target."

Although Verstappen can take his next V6 and MGU-H without penalty, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admitted the Dutchman will face penalties at some stage before the end of the season.

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