The FIA has confirmed that Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo will receive grid penalties for the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday. The news was expected but only confirmed this morning during the first practice session, where both drivers ended fifth and sixth.
The team has decided to take the hit at the event this weekend in order to avoid a drop at the next race which will take place in Singapore. That race will arguably be Red Bull's strongest track of the year, meaning grid penalties would be very costly.
Ricciardo has taken his fifth combustion engine, fifth turbo and sixth MGU-H which will amount to a 20-place drop. Verstappen meanwhile, will receive a 15-place penalty after using a fifth combustion engine and fifth MGU-H. Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz will also drop 10 places due to taking on a fifth MGU-H.
"It's no secret Singapore is a circuit we're strong on," Ricciardo said. "I don't want to take any risks in Singapore and risk racing with an old engine or something. If we have to be strategic about it, then we will. We're not in a comfortable position now to be taking any risks with the reliability, so we'll play it safe."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing