Fire extinguisher foam led to Ricciardo penalty


"If he didn't have bad luck he'd have no luck at all", so they say, and just days after Daniel Ricciardo claimed his car was "cursed", perhaps the Australian has a point.

Having incurred a 5-place grid penalty after the team had to change the turbocharger on his power unit, it was subsequently revealed that foam used to extinguish the small fire that led to his retirement in Mexico was the cause of the damage.

"Obviously the marshals were doing the prudent thing, and they had seen a bit of smoke," team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports. "You can see flames coming out of the back there, so you cannot blame the marshal really, he is putting out a fire. But then he has rammed a load of fire foam up the exhaust and it has solidified in the turbo, and that was the end of that. It ruined the turbo.

"The other turbo that Daniel has in his pool was on the engine that failed in Austin," he revealed, "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."

"I got a phone call last week notifying me of what happened when we broke down in Mexico," said Ricciardo. "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 that week," he added, referring to the Mexico retirement, "and then I got that call... but it is what it is."

Horner also revealed that an issue which lost teammate Max Verstappen track-time in today's second session, most likely was caused in Mexico and that the Dutchman was lucky not to have been sidelined.

"They think it is something that might have actually started in Mexico," he said of a crack in an oil tower. "So actually it makes Mexico even more fortuitous."

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Published: 09/11/2018
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