Hulkenberg: Renault giving away points with poor reliability
Nico Hulkenberg says that his Renault Formula 1 team has to find fixes soon after he suffered a second consecutive retirement with an MGU-K issue in the Chinese GP.
After Hulkenberg and teammate Daniel Ricciardo lost valuable points when they both stopped in the closing laps of the Bahrain GP, Renault supplied its drivers with the upgraded MGU-K spec that was already used by McLaren's Carlos Sainz at Sakhir.
While Ricciardo had a trouble free run to seventh place and his first points of 2019 Hulkenberg retired after completing just 15 laps with a loss of power. The team believes that it was a result of a software issue related to the change of MGU-K spec, and that the revised hardware itself is not suspect.
Hulkenberg has cautioned that the French manufacturer has to solve its problems.
"It's not good news," said the German. "We really have to get on top of these things, because we're costing ourselves results, experience and points. I think we know that we have homework to do on that side. We need fixes rather sooner than later."
Hulkenberg tried to resolve the problem by making adjustments suggested by his engineer, but to no avail.
"It happened a couple of laps before I stopped, but we couldn't fix it, so the team asked me to park the car.
"I lost power and it didn't go anywhere. It looks like it's related to the MGU-K again, unfortunately. So it looks like we have more work to do there."
Hulkenberg admitted that he was probably set for a difficult afternoon anyway after losing out to Sergio Perez at the start, leaving him in ninth place on the less favoured soft tyres. He then dropped down the field after an early stop.
"It wasn't looking entirely OK. Unfortunately I lost a position to Checo during the first lap, and then just sitting in traffic was really tough for me.
"Following another car today was impossible, you were just sliding. We all kind of had the same pace, so it was really difficult. Then I pitted, a slow pit stop, and I came out on traffic, so it would have been a difficult recovery anyway."
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