Renault confirm Hulkenberg’s grid drop

Mark Scott
Nico Hulkenberg

F1 2020 rumours.

Renault have confirmed ahead of FP3 and qualifying in Austria that Nico Hulkenberg has incurred a grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Enstone team have decided to pack the upgraded Spec-B engine into Hulkenberg’s car, which sees him move onto his fifth ICE element of the season.

That means a five-place grid penalty is set to come his way, but now has the same engine as team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Renault struggled for pace at the Red Bull Ring on Friday, especially in FP2 where both drivers found themselves in the bottom five.

“Obviously it’s a short lap, not too many corners, but Spielberg kind of has its own laws and rules,” Hulkenberg said after FP2. “It’s a tricky old track, very technical.

“But the main struggle [was] with the balance, and it’s very hard to find a good rhythm. And of course you do see that on the timesheet.

“We were really lacking some slow speed performance – hence we elected to do another low fuel run and it compromised our high-fuel running a little bit trying to get more out of the car.”

Hulkenberg joins Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon on the grid penalty list. Sainz has also taken Renault’s upgraded engine, while Albon is poised to line up P20 after Honda fitted their Spec-3 power unit into his Toro Rosso.

Follow all the action from the Austrian Grand Prix with the PlanetF1 live centre