Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Monaco, 2018

Ricciardo’s brakes almost caught fire due to MGU-K failure – Horner

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo’s MGU-K failure almost caused a brake fire during the Monaco Grand Prix, team principal Christian Horner revealed.

The team considered retiring his car when its MGU-K failed with 50 laps to go.

“On lap 28 he reported a sudden loss of power. The engine guys could see from the data that the MGU-K had stopped completely,” said Horner.

“At that point there was talk of retiring the car because the potential damage with the K can go into the combustion engine, and then it is a whole load of other problems.

“My position was we are leading the Monaco GP and we will run it until his engine stops.”

Ricciardo had to make rapid changes to his brake balance because his rear brakes were overheating, Horner explained.

“When you lose the MGU-K that changes all the energy movement through the braking system of the car. So his rear brakes immediately were not far off going on fire.

“He then had to wind the brake bias all the way to the front. And at the same time, we are telling him that he needs to start lifting in the braking areas to generate as much cooling as he could on the brakes.

“With all the balance and setting changes that were going on, he also had Sebastian Vettel one second behind him while leading the Monaco race. So he got that under control pretty quickly.”

Losing the MGU-K cost Ricciardo “a couple of seconds a lap”, said Horner. “Had it been any other circuit they would have sailed straight past us.”

“We saw it [when] Daniel won his first grand prix in Montreal when the same issue happened to Nico Rosberg. But here in Monaco with the ability to position the car sensibly, it is enormously difficult to overtake here even with a pace advantage.

“So it was important for him to keep his cool, keep track position, don’t kill the tires, don’t kill the brakes, don’t kill the engine and bring it home. He has been so focused since he arrived here this weekend there was no way he was going to let this victory slip through his fingers.”

Additional reporting by @WillWood.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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8 comments on “Ricciardo’s brakes almost caught fire due to MGU-K failure – Horner”

  1. That makes the win so much more unbelievable – great drive Daniel.

    1. Absolutely; championship material for sure

  2. Awesome!

  3. If Max had qualified in the top 4, he could have won it …. but at least we got to see him fighting through the pack.

    1. If, if, if. If Max hadn’t crashed nearly every race weekend this year he might not have fewer than half the points of his team-mate. As it is he didn’t qualify in the top four and finished ninth.

  4. Ok then, give him a contract that’s at least on par with Max Ballyhooppen’s.

  5. Canada 2014. And Hamilton’s brakes caught fire that time.

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