In the early stages of the Singapore Grand Prix, Nico Hülkenberg was running inside the top three, and had his first podium finish of his career in sight, but an oil leak ended his evening prematurely, having already dropped out of the points as his team attempted a fix.
The Renault Sport Formula 1 Team racer now has the unwanted record of the most Grand Prix starts without standing on the podium, overtaking the record previously held by Adrian Sutil, and Hülkenberg admitted he was disappointed to see a promising start to the race go un-rewarded.
“It was a very disappointing race, you put in a lot of hard work throughout the weekend and then these things happen,” said Hülkenberg.
“It’s not great but it is a technical sport and a team sport. Unfortunately we had some technical issues with the engine and we had to retire the car.”
Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul apologised to his driver for the enforced retirement, but Hülkenberg’s race had already been compromised by the teams attempt to fix the issue by refilling his hydraulics system up during a pit stop.
“We feel very sorry and I want to apologize to Nico for having to retire his car,” said Abiteboul. “We had an oil leak which translated in his car having to take a performance penalty in the earlier part of the race and even tried an intervention during a long pit stop.
“Despite all our attempts and a great teamwork from all his car wouldn’t have made it to the end so we retired for preventative measures.”