Sainz forced to take second MGU-K after Melbourne failure
Carlos Sainz has been forced to take his second MGU-K of the Formula 1 season, after damage caused by a "not good enough" failure in Australia could not be repaired.
With drivers limited to just two MGU-K components for the season, moving on to the second element so early in the campaign is far from ideal.
On the back of some MGU-K problems encountered in testing, Sainz admitted ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix that the energy recovery system was the ‘weak point’ of his car.
“Hopefully they [Renault] are looking at it, and they have been looking at it during these last few days,” said the Spaniard. “And they’ve found out hopefully the cause of the issues.
“We have put some solutions in place for this race, and if they will work or not we need to see. But it is true we had a couple of failures during testing, so it is something that is a weak point of the car.
"We need to keep working on to ensure we don’t throw any more points into the bin because we did throw a couple of them in Australia.”
While reliability dramas are nothing new to Renault, which has endured some tough times during the turbo hybrid era, Sainz said that a failure so early in the first race was not up to standard even if performance had improved.
“The PU [power unit], it is a strong PU in a straight line,” he said. “We have done our steps forward in the right direction, and definitely I welcome that, but lap 11 of race one [to retire] is not good enough.”
On the positive side, Sainz reckoned that speed trap data from the opening race of the campaign had delivered some encouraging news about power gains.
“It felt like we are getting good power, especially in both conditions – both race and qualifying,” he said. “Our top speeds last year, we were 10-12kpm/h down in every qualifying session, and this year we seem to be I think only 2-3km/h down.
“It’s due to downforce but also because the engine has improved.
"Unfortunately on reliability, I don’t mind if the speed is good if we cannot go through lap 11 in the first race of the season. So hopefully that can improve.”
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