Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul admitted the fault which put Esteban Ocon out of the Styrian Grand Prix was a repeat of the same problem the team suffered a week earlier.Daniel Ricciardo retired in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, while Ocon was sidelined 26 laps into Sunday’s race after qualifying fifth.
“[There’s] lots of emotions after a weekend like this one,” said Abiteboul. “We had good emotions after qualifying with both cars reaching Q3 and Esteban who showed a very strong pace in extreme conditions, demonstrating his outstanding driving skills in his second qualifying with us.
“The emotions were much more painful after another retirement for one of our cars caused by exactly the same issue as last weekend.”
Renault sent a batch of radiators back to its Enstone factory for inspection following Ricciardo’s retirement last week.
“We had put lots of effort to return, examine the parts in Enstone, and send it back to the track, but clearly there is something that we missed,” said Abiteboul.
“This poor level of reliability is, obviously, not acceptable in a field that is so tight. The race also showed that we need a bit more pace against our direct competitors. Daniel had a good race and he did well to defend for so long.
“Overall, the prevailing feeling is one of disappointment, however, we should not deter from the fact we’ve improved massively at this track compared to previous years. The car has made huge steps forwards but so have the other teams. Now it’s gloves off for the rest of the season.”
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