Renault puts down Ricciardo’s ‘Pony’ engine

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that his engine which failed at Silverstone was an A-spec called ‘Pony’ that had been consigned to practice duties anyway.

While the switch to a B-spec internal combustion engine for Saturday running at the British Grand Prix was already planned, Ricciardo will also have to change chassis due to damage he sustained in Friday practice.

The Renault driver missed the final quarter-hour of Practice 2 when he pulled off after it sounded as though the engine had cut out through Maggotts/Becketts.

Ricciardo, however, was not especially worried by the failure due to the mileage already put on that engine.

“I think it’s RIP to that engine, so we’re going to have a little service tonight for it,” said the West Australian.

“It was called Pony as well, so we had to put Pony down, I think.

“That was the original spec, so it was definitely just a practice engine.

“It would have been nice to get that to do a few more Fridays. But the word for now is that we’re gonna say ‘adios’ to it and put Pony down.”

Ricciardo had ridden Pony to his first top 10 finish with the Renault factory team in China in April.

“I got first points with Pony in Shanghai, I think it was,” he said.

“So she enjoyed China, loved a bit of Chinese food, strong guts, but other than that I think we’ll forget about Pony tomorrow once we spread the ashes tonight.”

The impending chassis change was less expected, however, and has been forced due to the presence of a “small crack” which Renault says Ricciardo incurred in running over a kerb.

Ricciardo was eighth in Practice 1 and 14th in Practice 2 with 17 laps to his name in the latter session, a count greater than only that of Williams’ George Russell, who had a gearbox problem.

While the field had already moved on to long runs by the time of the engine failure, and Nico Hulkenberg was only a position ahead in Practice 1 and a position behind in Practice 2 in the other Renault, Ricciardo still believes that he can make Qualifying 3.

“The time sheets don’t show too much optimism, but we are better than that,” he claimed.

“We still have work to do. There is some lap time on the table that we can get quite quickly. But to put us in the P7, P8 area we do need to find a little more.

“We are currently good enough to get inside the top 10 but just. We want to get a bit deeper in there.

“There are still a few things to discover on the car. I had a bit of an issue in the long run but other than that not a bad day.

“We split the set-ups for a little bit then got a bit closer in the afternoon. We are still a little bit different in some areas, so will just try and work out which direction to follow.”

Practice 3 starts tonight at 2000 AEST, and Qualifying at 2300 AEST.

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