Ricciardo to take Turkish GP grid drop after F1 engine change

Daniel Ricciardo is set to start Formula 1's Turkish Grand Prix from the back of the grid after McLaren elected to introduce a new power unit.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

The Australian had a disappointing time in qualifying, as a lack of confidence on soft tyres in the damp but drying conditions resulted in him getting knocked out of Q1.

Having originally been set to start from 15th on the grid, McLaren evaluated overnight whether or not it would be beneficial to add a fresh Mercedes power unit to his pool.

Just like the works teams, Mercedes’ customers are mindful about the reliability risks of the German manufacturers’ engines with many races still to go.

Following an evaluation, Autosport understands that McLaren has decided to go for an engine swap to get an extra power unit on board.

Rather than going for an entirely new power unit, McLaren has elected to change Ricciardo's internal combustion engine, turbo and MGU-H.

According to F1’s sporting regulations, the introduction of a single new power unit component beyond what is allowed results in a 10-place grid penalty.

However, if a driver incurs a penalty that exceeds 15 grid places then he is automatically required to start the race from the back of the grid.

So with Ricciardo falling foul of that regulation by totting up 30-places, he is forced to the back with Sainz.

However, with Sainz having set a faster time than him in qualifying, it means the Spaniard will take 19th on the grid and Ricciardo the final spot.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Speaking before confirmation that he was moving back, Ricciardo conceded that making much progress in the race will be a tough ask.

“We don't really know if it's going to be a difficult track for overtaking,” he said. “No track is easy, so I'm sure it will be challenging.

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“But there were some long run instances [on Friday] where I felt quite comfortable, so you know I am also optimistic or confident that the race can certainly be the better. But we'll see.

“Most of the top 10 start on medium, So it's maybe that strategy choices aren’t that obvious. But I kind of just want to look forward and not waste energy on being frustrated or angry.”

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