BUDAPEST, Hungary — Daniel Ricciardo expects to be able to fight for victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix without penalties despite his engine failure at Hockenheim.
Ricciardo’s car slowed to a halt during the race in Germany, raising fears of engine component changes and a drop down the grid at Hockenheimring, one of Red Bull’s strongest circuits on the calendar. Although any penalty would significantly impact the Australian’s chances of fighting for his third win of the season, he is staying confident.
“It shouldn’t,” he said about the prospect of being penalised. “We still have another engine which is fine at the moment. So we’ll run that engine this weekend but on mileage and stuff it should be fine. Unless something unplanned happens to that we should be OK.”
Following Hungary and the subsequent summer break is the double header at two of the most power-sensitive tracks on the calendar, Belgium and Italy. Ricciardo admits his troubles in Germany means he is braced to suffer later in the year.
“I think that’s really the main thing. All going normal it won’t hurt me this weekend but it means a bit more pain at some point after the race.”
Due to the characteristics of the Hungaroring, which allows Red Bull to show its aerodynamic strengths, many are tipping Red Bull to match its performance levels at the Monaco Grand Prix, where Ricciardo took pole position and victory in May.
When asked if he thought Red Bull were favourites, he said: “No.. it should be close. I’m not sure who is going to be the favourite this weekend. I really think all three are going to be really close.
The Australian then laughed and said: “I’m going to predict, after me, the rest of the field will be within one tenth, the other five! Should be close, I hope it’s close, for all six cars.”