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Ricciardo, Hulkenberg denied full power, Renault reveal

Ricciardo, Hulkenberg denied full power, Renault reveal

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Ricciardo, Hulkenberg denied full power, Renault reveal

Ricciardo, Hulkenberg denied full power, Renault reveal

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has revealed that the French manufacturer has had to run its engines at lower levels of power all season, perhaps going some way to explaining the sluggish start to 2019 endured by Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg.

Ricciardo and Hulkenberg have secured a solitary points finish apiece after five races, a far cry from Renault's pre-season expectations of closing the gap to Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.

Abiteboul says attempts to boost their power units' potency in the off-season

"This winter we were given the opportunity to properly focus on power gain, and competitiveness gain," said Abiteboul.

"What it meant was we consciously decided to focus on performance, to the detriment of reliability.

"It means that a number of engines that should have been used on the dyno to secure reliability were actually used to develop performance.

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"Two reasons, one which you know which was the MGU-K, and one which you don't know, which was that Nico's failure in Bahrain was actually a conrod failure – so typically a part that you don't want to break, because it's a part at the bottom of the engine, and a fundamental part.

"We didn't really have a back-up plan, but at the same time I can say that it was a blow for the organisation that meant some containment measures after the race that was massively reducing the power that was delivered for the following races."

Having introduced a spec-two power unit in Spain last time out, Renault now hope that further upgrades will open up its engine's full potential.

Abiteboul explained: "In Barcelona we've done one step of power, not the full, because we wanted to get the feedback of Barcelona, and do some inspection, and make sure that every one was OK.

"But there will be another step from this weekend onwards, so basically we are back to the competitiveness level of the engine at the season start, which was really strong.

"From our analysis we see we are now the same level as Ferrari and Mercedes in race, and behind Ferrari in qualifying, when we will be back to that level which is the case from this weekend on."

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