Nico Hulkenberg suspects 'very strange' Renault behaviour a one-off

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg at the Austrian Grand Prix

Nico Hulkenberg reckons the “very strange behaviour” that limited Renault’s hopes in Austria was a one-off, after the team lost further ground to McLaren.

Renault struggled for pace throughout the weekend at the Red Bull Ring as Daniel Ricciardo and Hulkenberg dropped out in Q2 before taking a low-key 12th and 13th respectively in the race.

It means Renault has now slipped 20 points behind McLaren in the battle to be Formula 1’s lead midfield outfit.

“Conclusion is nothing really worked,” said Hulkenberg on Renault’s display in Austria.

“[We had] a lot of problems with the car. Also with the brakes. We started to have more issues [in the race], some very strange behaviour, like square kind of braking.

“It was difficult to control the car at times. Even driving in a straight line it felt like the front was very light, getting pushed around, as if you were in a close tow behind another car. Certainly not easy out there.

“The Alfas were not far ahead but following another car here is tough in those corners and we didn’t have enough pace to get by.

“[These problems are] kind of specific and new for which is obviously a bit of a surprise and a little bit strange.

“I felt in previous years Austria is a bit of a particular circuit. In the last few years with Renault we never had really great experiences here, so I hope it’s more track specific.

“We need to use that next week, take a deep dive, head into the data and look into things and see what’s going on.”