Carlos Sainz has backed Renault’s deliberations over taking a strategic approach to the long-life engine rules of 2018. Over the winter, the rules have changed so that each driver may now use just three power units all season rather than the four that were allowed in 2017.

But Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul, as well as figures for engine customers Red Bull and McLaren, have said they might actually take voluntarily engine change penalties this year. Abiteboul explained that using four engines per season means a driver will benefit from more Renault engine development. “Because the engine life is longer, it slows down the development,” he said.

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