As if its German Grand Prix couldn’t get any worse, Renault’s disaster has deepened.
The team was unable to get points in yesterday’s Grand Prix after Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire after 15 laps before Nico Hulkenberg slid into the barriers while sitting in contention to take an allusive podium.
It was tough to take, and now the team has had a third crash.
On its way to next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, one of Renault’s trucks has been involved in an incident which led it to be driven off the road.
Images have been circulating of the crash with the trailer teetering on the side of the M1 motorway near Gyor.
The barrier along the road had also been flattened where the trailer left the road.
There were reports of firefighters and a rescue helicopter called to the scene with the driver initially trapped in the cabin.
Renault released a statement on social media reporting the driver was “conscious and has not suffered serious injury”.
We confirm that a Team truck was in an accident on the M1 in Hungary, near Gyor. The driver, who was driving within the respected regulations, is conscious and has not suffered serious injury. He’s been transported to hospital for further checks. No other vehicles were involved.
Renault has not confirmed the extent of any damage to its equipment or whether the trailer was transporting Ricciardo or Hulkenberg’s cars or whether there had been any damage to the cargo.
The truck was successfully extracted from the crash site.
Renault in Hungary. No respect to track limits pic.twitter.com/P2QvlK76aF
We're following reports on social media that a Renault F1 transport truck has crashed en route to the Hungarian Grand Prix.#GermanGP #HungarianGP #[email protected] @tgruener @ChrisMedlandF1 pic.twitter.com/UTXNpa5KhU
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The German Grand Prix was a chaotic event with six drivers crashing out in the race which saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claim the victory ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who made it all the way from the back of the field.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, whose partner also had their first child over the weekend, finished in third.
But Renault’s double retirement hit the team hard.
Nico Hulkenberg was far from happy.Source:AFP
Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul said it was a tough race to take in Germany.
“It was an emotional rollercoaster with highs and lows,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re finishing on a low with two retirements.
“It’s difficult to take as it was an exciting race and we’d have liked to have been part of it until the end. We missed an opportunity for big points over our direct competitors, but there are certainly positives from the weekend.
“We want to taste being higher on merit more regularly. It doesn’t deter from our focus of pushing on and building a more competitive car.”
Hulkenberg was not happy, crashing out when he was running fourth.
Devastated ?#F1 #GermanGP ?? @HulkHulkenberg pic.twitter.com/W6vlV3pSca
It was a sad end to a promising race for the driver, who holds the unwanted record for most F1 starts without a podium at 168 races.
“I don’t know what to say,” Hulkenberg said. “It was a fantastic effort, fantastic race up until that point, for the team, for myself.
“I lost the car for one moment in the wrong corner, in Turn 16. The tarmac next to the normal track is not the normal asphalt, it’s some sort of ice skating track. Once I was there, I couldn’t control the car. You saw the result, I slid into the wall.
“It’s hard to swallow. I’m sorry for the team, because we deserved this, the team did a good job, especially today in the race with strategy and everything. It was all good up until that point, but you have to do all the laps.”
Ricciardo’s hopes went up in a puff of smoke.Source:Getty Images
Ricciardo too lamented the missed opportunity with the team unable to capitalise as other mid-table teams had been able to.
“I think every driver today had a chance of a podium, so it was frustrating,” Ricciardo admitted. “The balance of the car wasn’t bad but I was just struggling with braking. Every time I braked hard I was locking the left front. I was kind of frustrated at the time that I couldn’t show more but I think once the conditions got dry I think everything would have come up to temperature and could have had a pretty good race.
“Could have, should have, would have, I think a lot of drivers are saying that today.
“We felt like we were half a step short all weekend with quali and then in the race, but I think Budapest will turn right for us.”
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