Following the session, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reported that Ricciardo’s car had exceeded the MGU-K power limit of 120kW during Q1.
Renault made it clear that the power spike created an advantage of just one microsecond, and pointed out that it didn’t occur on the lap which actually got Ricciardo from Q1 to Q3.
However, after meeting team representatives Alan Permane and Remi Taffin and hearing their explanation the stewards announced that Ricciardo had been excluded from qualifying, citing previous technical infringements when no advantage was gained as precedents.
The Australian thus lost his eighth place and drops to the back of the grid.
“The decision goes quite far into detailing that there was absolutely no advantage,” team boss Cyril Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.
“It was not on a lap that counted, they wrote all of that themselves. A bit of an excuse of their own decision – I don’t think they feel extremely comfortable with their own decision.
“We are not challenging the fact that there was a bit of an over-rev when we hit the kerb. It’s the first time in Singapore that it’s happening.”
Abiteboul said measures have been taken to avoid a repeat in the race, but the manufacturer still needs to investigate the issue and come up with a longer term fix.
“We don’t know, maybe there is a system to review, and we will investigate that. We’ve got some contingency measures to prevent that from happening.
“We need to understand why on one lap, on one kerb, from all the laps we’ve done this year and the previous years it has happened. That’s something that we still need to understand.”
The FIA has subsequently revealed Ricciardo will use a new MGU-K and control electronics for the remainder of the weekend. This is an additional element beyond the seasonal limit, which Ricciardo has previously exceeded anyway, and makes no difference to his position at the back of the grid.