Nico Hülkenberg was the first retirement from the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday when the engine failed on his R.S.18, but the German admitted it was a tough afternoon all round for the Renault Sport Formula One Team, who failed to score points for the first time in 2018.
Hülkenberg’s engine failure exiting the final turn on lap eleven, with smoke and flames bellowing from the rear of the car as he took refuge in the turn one run-off area, with the retirement his third of the season after crashing out of both the Azerbaijan and Spanish Grand Prix earlier in the year.
With team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. struggling with blistering tyres and finishing twelfth, it ended the points scoring run for Renault, with Hülkenberg hoping that the team can refocus ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the third race of Formula 1’s first ever triple header.
“Obviously it wasn’t a great afternoon for the team,” said Hülkenberg, who fell behind both Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso to ninth in the Drivers’ Championship after both finished inside the points on Sunday. “I suffered a loss of power and then the car went up in smoke and that was the end of our day.
“Carlos struggled as well, maybe because of the hotter temperatures today, and that made tyres hard to keep under control with a lot of blistering.
“It was a tough and disappointing afternoon, so we just refocus on Silverstone to make amends in a few days’ time.”