Renault principal Cyril Abiteboul has branded the team’s lack of reliability as “unacceptable” after a double DNF in Bahrain.
Both cars were running in the points with just a few laps to go – Nico Hulkenberg had gone from P17 on the grid to P6, while Daniel Ricciardo was holding P10.
Disaster would strike though in bizarre fashion when Nico Hulkenberg retired with a power unit issue; Ricciardo would drop out at an identical time with an MGU-K failure.
Abiteboul rued the electrical issues which cost Renault in Australian GP qualifying, and now during the race in Bahrain.
“After a very intense winter, it’s been a very bad start to our racing season,” he told reporters in Sakhir.
“Similar to Melbourne, our qualifying in Bahrain was massively compromised by minor electronics issues, which impacted both cars. Our race today came to a sudden stop so close to the finish.
“These are issues we have previously encountered but something we were unable to rectify in Bahrain.
“These problems are increasingly frustrating and unacceptable as both cars have shown very good competitiveness both over one-lap and race runs.”
Abiteboul was happy with the performance of his drivers in Bahrain, praising Hulkenberg for “another outstanding drive”, while Ricciardo is “building precious experience”.
“Nico delivered another outstanding drive from seventeenth to sixth,” he explained.
“Daniel is building on precious experience in the car, and despite good race pace, his strategy gamble didn’t work out.
“Daniel will continue his familiarisation in the car during this week’s test conducting performance-related work. We must react and shift our focus on reliability.”