Renault F1 team expects Hulkenberg penalty before end of 2018

Renault expects Nico Hulkenberg to take a grid penalty during the remainder of the Formula 1 season after the energy store failure he suffered in Hungary

Renault F1 team expects Hulkenberg penalty before end of 2018

Hulkenberg stopped on track at the Hungaroring during Friday practice and Renault had to revert to the energy store he started the season with for the rest of the weekend.

The team initially feared that the failure would trigger MGU-K and MGU-H problems as it damaged some wiring looms, but the energy recovery systems were unharmed.

However, Renault chassis technical director Nick Chester said the energy store will not be reused this season and he does not expect Hulkenberg to complete the year with the used component re-fitted in Hungary.

Hulkenberg had moved onto his second energy store in Austria, along with team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr and both drivers at Renault customer McLaren.

He will need to use a third energy store, one more than allowed by the regulations, which means a five-place grid drop.

"I think probably most people are aware we were probably going to have to take a penalty at some point anyway on energy store," said Chester in Hungary.

"It's quite badly damaged. It had a short somewhere, so it's not like the cells have done something weird on their own."

Any driver who took an early energy store change, or has lost the use of it completely because it suffered a terminal failure, is under pressure to avoid future penalties.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas had an energy store change during the season opener in Australia, while Kevin Magnussen picked up his second at Haas in Azerbaijan (round four of 21).

Force India gave Sergio Perez a fresh energy store for round six in Monaco, while Sauber's Marcus Ericsson moved onto his second component in France (round eight).

Those that have made changes since then are likely to be safe, subject to future failures, and this includes Romain Grosjean and Charles Leclerc (Britain), both Ferrari drivers and Max Verstappen (Germany) and Lewis Hamilton (Hungary).

Williams pair Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, plus Force India's Esteban Ocon, made it to the summer break without changing their Mercedes energy stores.

Honda-powered Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, plus Daniel Ricciardo at Renault-engined Red Bull, have already exceeded the limit after tactically taking grid penalties to make several new components available for the rest of the season.

Several drivers are set to take penalties because of other engine changes. Bottas is already on his third V6, turbo and MGU-H with one more Mercedes upgrade to come, while Raikkonen and Verstappen are onto their third turbos.

Sainz and Grosjean have had to take an extra turbo in the first half of the season, while McLaren's Fernando Alonso is on his third engine, turbo and MGU-H.

The rest of the field have either moved onto what they will hope will be their final combustion engine, turbo and MGU-H of the season, or are yet to make that change.

shares
comments
Surprise speculation over F1 seat changed Hartley as a driver

Previous article

Surprise speculation over F1 seat changed Hartley as a driver

Next article

F1 driver market 2019: What happens next?

F1 driver market 2019: What happens next?
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Scott Mitchell
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021