With the French car manufacturer eager to make up for its double retirement in Germany last week, it endured another difficult afternoon in Hungary as Hulkenberg came home in 12th and Daniel Ricciardo was two places further back.
While Ricciardo was always going to face an uphill task to finish in the top 10 after starting at the back of the grid, Hulkenberg had high hope of moving forward from his 11th place.
But it all went wrong early on when an issue with the engine locked it in safe mode and held back its performance.
“We struggled with the car, with an engine control issue from the beginning of the race, which meant I lost consistently three tenths a lap,” said Hulkenberg. “That made things tricky and we just didn’t have the pace to progress into the points.”
Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul added: “With Nico we were targeting points, but with an engine having to run in safe mode and a very modest advantage over the soft tyre starters, we could not make our strategy really work.”
Abiteboul said that one of the few positives to come out of the race was the way that Ricciardo never gave up in his fight with Kevin Magnussen over 13th spot
“He had a good fight with Magnussen until the last corner, showing that he is a fighter who does not surrender. His attitude on track must be an inspiration for us as we head towards the summer break, with a first half of the season well below our objectives.”
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-19, leads Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.19, and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images