Nico Hulkenberg has called on Renault to find a fix for its MGU-K problems after another retirement in the Chinese Grand Prix, with the impact extending beyond the team’s points tally.
The German was fighting for points when he was forced to retire early in the race, which followed a double DNF when both cars were in the top 10 in the closing stages in Bahrain. With Renault level on points with Alfa Romeo in the constructors’ championship, Hulkenberg says the recurring issues are not only resulting in lost points but also hampering the team’s ability to learn about and improve its car.
“I lost power and it didn’t go anywhere,” Hulkenberg said. “It looks like it is connected to the MGU-K again. So it looks like we have more work to do.
“Disappointed that we had to park the car after 13, 14 laps. We are looking into it but I had a loss of power. So it is a power-related issue. It happened a couple of laps before I stopped, but we couldn’t fix it so the team asked me to park the car.
“It is not good news and we really have to get on top of these things because we are costing ourselves results, experience and points. We know we have homework to do on that side but we need to fix this sooner than later.”
Hulkenberg explained the issue appeared like it could be rectified during the race, with the team taking a number of laps to identify it as another MGU-K problem.
“We pitted and came out in some traffic, but then I felt a loss of power. We tried our best to fix it out there as it looked like a software issue, but it wasn’t possible and we had to park. We have things to work on ahead of the next race, but we will look at everything in detail and come back stronger.”
Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh in China to move Renault up to fourth in the constructors’ standings, ahead of Alfa Romeo courtesy of two seventh-place finishes to Kimi Raikkonen’s one.