Abiteboul admits Renault 'slower' than hoped as engine issues persist

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Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul admits their car is slower than hoped in addition to their continued reliability problems.

The French manufacturer scored just their second finish of the season through Daniel Ricciardo in China, as the Australian led the midfield throughout the weekend in seventh.

However, he would end the race over a lap down on race winner Lewis Hamilton and a minute behind Charles Leclerc in the closest representative top-six finisher.

“It's good for the team, but it was a frustrating race," Abiteboul commented.

“It [Ricciardo's result] allows us to forget Bahrain and start like in Melbourne, where Nico came in seventh, but we have to do better in all aspects.

“We are a little slower than we would have liked, but we have to work and not complain, it is a multi-year job to reduce and thus bridge the gap.”

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Another significant problem is the ongoing MGU-K problems after a third would fail in the car of Nico Hulkenberg.

Even more worrying, the component was an updated version of the MGU-Ks which had failed for Carlos Sainz in Australia and Ricciardo in Bahrain.

And should Hulkenberg need another in Baku, that will result in a grid penalty at just the fourth race of the season.

"It's not good news. We really have to get on top of these things, because we're costing ourselves results, experience and points," the German said post-race.

"I think we know that we have homework to do on that side. We need fixes rather sooner than later. I lost power and it didn't go anywhere.

"It looks like it's related to the MGU-K again, unfortunately. So it looks like we have more work to do there."

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