The Renault F1 Team experienced bitter disappointment in the 2019 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix with Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo retiring from points-scoring positions, just three laps short of the finish.
Hülkenberg started from 17th on the grid, enjoyed an excellent start and climbed to 11th by the end of the opening lap. On a two-stop strategy, he worked his way up to sixth before his retirement on lap 54.
These problems are increasingly frustrating and unacceptable as both cars have shown very good competitiveness both over one-lap and race runsTeam boss Cyril Abiteboul
Ricciardo too was running in the points throughout the race on his one-stop strategy. The Australian was in tenth and set to clinch the final point, but he also retired on the same lap.
Team boss Cyril Abiteboul said: “After a very intense winter, it’s been a very bad start to our racing season. Similar to Melbourne, our qualifying in Bahrain was massively compromised by minor electronics issues, which impacted both cars.
“Our race 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. We must react and shift our focus on reliability.”
Hülkenberg said: “It’s definitely a hard one to swallow, this sport can be so tough sometimes. It was a great ride but unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to the finish line.
“The team did a great job on the two-stop strategy and we can take positives from that. We have to be cleaner going forward and make sure we don’t face anymore disappointments like this.”
Ricciardo added: “It was a very up and down weekend, a lot happened, and we will take time to absorb everything and come back stronger.”