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Horner expects more engine penalties for Red Bull

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has admitted that the team is almost certain to incur further penalties during the remainder of the 2017 season.

Red Bull's TAG Heuer-branded Renault engines struggled for reliability early in the season. The manufacturer has been working hard to improve the situation. However, Horner is aware the early failures are almost certain to come back to haunt Red Bull in the part of the year.

"We are for sure going to incur a further penalty," he said. "I hope we have the choice strategically where we take that penalty.

"It is not likely we will get to the end of the year without incurring another penalty.

Red Bull took a big hit with grid penalties at Monza. The team opted to fit new power unit elements to both their cars. In addition, Daniel Ricciardo's car needed a gearbox change over the weekend.

But despite starting from 16th place on the grid, Ricciardo fought back and narrowly missed getting on the podium.

"We couldn't have done much more from where we started," he said afterwards. "Of course I wanted to be up there on the podium as it looked unreal."

His team mate Max Verstappen's race was compromised by contact with Williams' Felipe Massa. After pitting for a puncture, he went on to to finish in eighth place.

However, just getting to the finish was a success for the Dutch teen, who has retired from six of the 13 races so far this year.

Horner agreed that this was a sign that the Renault power units were now beginning to show green shoots of improved reliability.

"They have certainly responded, which is encouraging," Horner said of Renault's latest push for greater reliability.

"The encouraging thing is that they seem to be taking it seriously. They are not putting their head in the sand.

"Hopefully that will follow an upward trend between now and the end of the year," he added.

However, Horner was also mindful that it was still early days in terms of Renault's reliability push. While there were no problems for the team at Monza, that was because both units were brand new.

"If we would have had an issue with the first engine in its cycle it would have been fairly catastrophic," he pointed out.

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