Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Albert Park, 2019

Renault introduce new MGU-K to fix reliability problems

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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All four Renault-powered drivers will use a new specification of MGU-K this weekend as the manufacturer works to solve the problems it has suffered since the beginning of the season.

Both Renault works cars retired at the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Fellow Renault user Carlos Sainz Jnr also dropped out of the Australian Grand Prix with power unit problems, and the Renault engines have experienced non-terminal problems as well.

Nico Hulkenberg confirmed he will take a new power unit this weekend following his retirement from sixth place in Bahrain.

“We worked on reliability to get on top of the situation,” he said. “It’s a pity we lost a great result there but that’s gone.”

“For me it was a failure on the PU side,” Hulkenberg explained. “We had a problem there, that’s why I’m onto my second engine now.

“Obviously also since the beginning of the season there has been several other issues on the MGU-K side. For here all the Renault engines we’re on the redesigned MGU-K where we’re very confident that it’s taken care of all the issues we’ve seen. There’s further, ongoing work obviously to improve things.”

Carlos Sainz Jnr became the first driver to take a second engine, turbo, MGU-H and MGU-K after retiring with a Renault power unit problem in Australia. Each driver may use a maximum of two MHU-Ks, three MGU-Hs, three turbochargers and three engines per season before they receive a grid penalty.

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2019 F1 season

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Renault introduce new MGU-K to fix reliability problems”

    1. Renault first in line to get into penaltyville .
      Me thinks Renault cars will end the season with the most grid penalties.

      1. What Renault needs is a replacement of their Cyril Abotabooli no other solution will work better

        1. Couldn’t agree more Mark. Not seen one thing that makes him suitable as team principal / head.

    2. Renault is the new Honda

      (insert after all it was McLaren’s fault comment here)

      1. After Mclaren announced they were dropping Honda in favour of Renault it was only ever going to go one way…

      2. @johnmilk
        Such is the McLaren engine curse, I’d happily bet £20 that Alonso’s Chevrolet engine blows up during the Indy 500!

      3. Renault have been the new Honda all along. They were just lucky that the focus was on Honda so they slipped under the radar for the last couple of years.

    3. Grid penalties is clearly not a deterrent for teams exceeding allocation of engines/parts, I wonder if a financial penalty would not be a greater deterrent. For example, if you exceed the Turbo allocation you need to pay every other team $10,000.00, so you encourage and reward reliability even more.

      1. To me it does not make any sense at all to penalize the teams when the engine manufacturer is at fault for making something that does not work.

      2. Who cares about reliability? I watch F1 to see who will win the race. If half the car’s engines blow up, even better.

      3. @aliced Drop of constructors points maybe?

    4. The problem is, F1 engineers have always adhered to the mantra of “make it fast first, then make it reliable” – Renault are very much still chasing Mercedes and Ferrari (and possibly even Honda now) on power, while they are doing that, things are going to break.

      However, it doesn’t stop it being slightly ironic that they were the most vocal about the switch to smaller, turbo-hybrid, engines…

      1. @joeypropane The other irony being that while making it unreliable, they forgot to make it fast first.

    5. Two races, one engine down..
      End of year.. 10 engines?

    6. Did Sainz take the revised MGU-K in Bahrain?

      If not, is that en engine penalty this week as that’ll be the 3rd one used, already.

      Not clever of Renault to design a part that can only be used twice in a season with a major flaw, but there we go.

    7. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      11th April 2019, 12:43

      This has the same issues as docking points. It mainly hits the small teams and the big teams can simply blow through their engines because their sponsors are gonna finance the fines.

    8. Engine penalties dont hurt as much for the midfield as they do for the front runners, free tyre choice starting at the back is almost better than qualifying Position 7-10 on used quali tyres.

      1. Engine penalties dont hurt as much for the midfield

        Even less so for Williams :P
        @emu55

        1. haa haa, i wonder how much of a performance boost Williams would get if they replaced all the engine components each race, turning the engine up to 11 for the weekend since it would only do one race.

          1. It may end up in the wall…

    Comments are closed.