Russian GP: Red Bull facing grid penalties
Qualifying starts at 1pm on Saturday; Race underway at 12.10pm on Sunday , exclusively live on Sky Sports F1
Last Updated: 25/09/18 2:09pm
Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are braced for grid penalties at the Russian GP as the team revert to Renault's 'B-spec' engine.
Verstappen finished in second place at the Singapore GP when using Renault's 'C-spec' unit.
But McLaren and Renault themselves have both declined to run the new unit, which is more powerful but less reliable, and Verstappen was plagued by intermittent glitches throughout the Singapore weekend.
When's the Russian GP on Sky F1?
Qualifying live on Saturday at 1pm while Sunday's race starts at 12.10pm
"We accepted the risks when we took this engine," admitted Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "It's delivered a bit more power, it's been a bit rough round the edges. But we did get the increase in power from it and that helped get on the front-row and achieve the second position."
Introducing new specs of the Renault 'B' units will trigger penalties for both Verstappen and Ricciardo. But Red Bull's reckoning is that it will be their best strategic play in order to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes later in the season at circuits which should be kinder to their package.
"We need to look at it but the likelihood is Sochi is an obvious place," said Horner. "Realistically Mexico is probably the only shot we have got left under normal circumstances [of beating Mercedes and Ferrari].
"Hopefully we can get a few more podiums in before the end of the year."
Red Bull ready for Honda switch
After a decade-long partnership with Renault, which has turned increasingly fraught in recent years, Red Bull will switch to Honda power next year.
It's been suggested that Honda, who already supply Red Bull's junior outfit Toro Rosso, are already ahead of schedule in their work for 2019.
But, perhaps mindful of how optimism around Honda frequently struggled to match reality during their collaboration with McLaren, Horner is remaining guarded.
"We are encouraged by what we're seeing," he said. "It's still early days but there is a very strong desire within Honda. It's great to be working in a partnership. We are looking forward to the next chapter for Red Bull Racing, but before that we've got six races to close out with our existing partner."
How to watch Sky F1 and the Ryder Cup
With Sky F1's Race Control service, you can watch the Russian GP and the Ryder Cup simultaneously this weekend
Sky F1's Russian GP schedule
Friday, September 28
8.45am: Russian GP Practice One Build-up
9am: Russian GP Practice One LIVE!
12.45pm: Russian GP Practice Two Build-up
1pm: Russian GP Practice Two LIVE!
2.50pm: F2 Qualifying LIVE!
Saturday, September 29
9.45am: Russian GP Practice Three Build-up
10am: Russian GP Practice Three LIVE!
12pm: Russian GP Qualifying Build-up
1pm: Russian GP Qualifying LIVE!
2.35pm: The F1 Show LIVE!
3.05pm: F2 Race One LIVE!
Sunday, September 30
9.15am: F2 Race Two LIVE!
10.30am: Pit Lane LIVE!
11.30am: On the Grid LIVE!
12.10pm: The Russian Grand Prix LIVE!
3.30pm: Paddock LIVE!
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