Yesterday it emerged that Daniel Ricciardo would be given a five-place grid penalty because Red Bull changed the turbocharger on his car. Now it has been revealed that it needed to be done because of a marshal emptying a fire extinguisher when he retired in Mexico.
Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, explained what really happened. “Obviously the marshals are doing the prudent thing, and they have seen a bit of smoke. You can see flames coming out of the back there, so you cannot blame the marshal really – he is putting out a fire,” he said.
“But then he has rammed a load of fire foam up the exhaust and it has then solidified in the turbo, and that was the end of that. It ruined the turbo.”
Ricciardo could have still run an old turbo and not faced a penalty but that would have risked another retirement, and Red Bull do not really want to piss him off even more.
“The other turbo that Daniel has in his pool was on the engine that failed in Austin, and Renault was saying that every time they have run a turbo when they have had a failure like that, they normally stop after 400km. So, we don’t really want to put him in that position,” explained Horner.
Ricciardo will be driving his final two races for Red Bull as he moves to Renault next season. Safe to say, it didn’t quite work out as well as everyone would have liked, though it did yield seven victories over a span of five years.
Needless to say, Ricciardo was not too pleased with the news but he seemed to have come to terms with his terrible luck this season.
“I got a phone call last week notifying me of what happened when we broke down in Mexico,” he said. “I think the marshals put the extinguisher straight up the exhaust and went to town, and that damaged the turbo.
“I’d kind of got over it [the Mexico retirement] that week and then I got that call… But it is what it is.”