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F1 2018 engine change an impending ‘headache’

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FORMULA One’s three-engine limit is a “headache” for teams for the 2018 season, says Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul.

But the Renault team boss has also not given up hope that the sport’s powerbrokers could yet agree to a late change, despite FIA president Jean Todt saying before Christmas there was no going back for 2018.

While the calendar has increased back to 21 races, teams will be limited to one fewer penalty-free main engine, MGU-H and turbocharger than last year as part of a sliding scale imposed at the start of the current engine era in 2014 to control costs.

One engine now has to last for seven races — a situation Red Bull chief Christian Horner described as “barking mad” at the end of last season.

Abiteboul is confident Renault are prepared but believes the rule is unlikely to do F1 any favours amid fears drivers will be clobbered with grid penalties even earlier in the season.

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F1 2020: Russian Grand Prix, news, qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo, results, live, blog, standings, Mercedes,

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Formula 1, Russian Grand Prix, Qualifying LIVE: Saturday 10pm AEST —

The Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton topped their rivals by over a second on Friday practice, but promised even more improvements heading into Saturday’s qualifying on a track the team has never lost a race.

But a brilliant Friday for Daniel Ricciardo saw him finish second behind Bottas in FP1 before claiming third behind the Mercedes pair in FP2.

The Australian has never qualified higher than fifth at the track, while his best race finish in Sochi is seventh.

Follow the action in our live blog below!

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Scott McLaughlin holds off SVG to put one hand on Supercars crown

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Scott McLaughlin took another big step towards a third straight Supercars title with victory in a tense opening race at the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend.

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F1 Russian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen erupts, Daniel Ricciardo, practice times, video

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wasn’t a happy driver during the opening practice session at the Russian Grand Prix.

Verstappen endured a tougher than expected run throughout the two sessions as the Red Bull fell behind several middle of the pack cars.

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But it was during the first practice session when Verstappen was left seeing red as he sat stuck behind the Williams of George Russell.

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