Renault principal Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed that Nico Hulkenberg retired from the Chinese Grand Prix after an MGU-K failure.
The team introduced a re-designed MGU-K for all their customers to use from the Chinese Grand Prix, looking to solve the issue that has solved all Renault-powered drivers this season.
Hulkenberg’s race in China would last just 16 laps before he encountered another failure, with Abiteboul confirming that the familiar gremlin is back.
“Nico, unfortunately, retired with an MGU-K related problem that we will investigate further after this weekend,” he said.
Ricciardo had no such issues as he reached the chequered flag for the first time in 2019, claiming P7 at the Shanghai International Circuit.
“We can be pleased that Daniel opened his points-scoring account with us this weekend,” said Abiteboul.
“He drove an intelligent race to conserve the tyres on a one-stop strategy, which we had to adopt to maintain position despite the challenge of starting on the soft tyres.”
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Ricciardo was pleased with his result, but maintains that the team are still not where they need to be.
“First points, it’s good to get on the board, good to finish the race, we’ve been looking for that in the last couple, it was nice,” said the Renault driver.
“We’ll take the positives and try and build on that. There’s obviously still a lot of work to do.
“At some point I couldn’t see Nico in my mirrors anymore so I suspected that he did a different strategy or he was out.
“It was a bit of a lonely race, I didn’t have so many battles but I was being pushed hard from the cars behind all the way to the end.
“It’s a strong result and the best we can ask for, at least for today.
“We want to push on from this over the next couple of races and keep working from here.”