Lando Norris’ race retirement due to engine failure was an exact copy of the same problem that saw his teammate Carlos Sainz retire in Belgium before the start of the Spa race.
Norris had been contending for a podium finish at the Nurburgring in the Sunday’s race but he encountered problem as his MCL35 suffered a power loss. The team tried countless efforts to help Norris over the team radio to override the system shutdowns to counter the issue but it was of no help as the British driver’s pace began to fade away as he came to a halt eventually.
His Mclaren was spotted with a smoking bodywork as the extent of internal damage became very obvious. Mclaren boss, Andreas Seidl said that the problem was the same as the ignition fault that Carlos Sainz encountered before the beginning of the Belgian Grand Prix which saw him retire from the race.
“It looks like the same issue that we experienced in Spa on Carlos’s side,” Seidl said. “So what happens here in the end is that there’s an issue on the ignition side, which is causing unburned fuel going into the exhaust. And then it goes ‘kaput’.
Seidl insisted that the Renault engineers had tried to assist Norris to override the problem, but in the end there is nothing more they could do.
“We tried to get out of this, let’s say, protection mode the engine goes in when having such an issue. But unfortunately, it wasn’t possible because the problem was constantly there then.”
“Obviously it was very disappointing because we were with Lando in a very good position in the race. He was running with P4 on a different strategy compared to Daniel [Ricciardo], and he was actually catching him.”
“So it would have been interesting how that would have played out with the different tyre life towards the end of the race. So very disappointed by that, because it was good to see that he had good pace in the race to fight with our main competitors.”
Renault team principal, Cyril Abiteboul said he would prioritise the efforts to see that they got to the bottom of the issue that Mclaren suffered, as the works team are in a close competition with Mclaren for the third place in the Constructors Championship.
“Given the situation with McLaren at the end of our contract, the very tight championship position, we need to be beyond any reasonable doubt in relation to that,” Abiteboul said.
“So from Monday, the team in Viry will be on that. And the team in Enstone equally needs to be on the hydraulic problems that we had on Esteban Ocon’s car, because that reliability is what’s going to determine the championship order on the evening of Abu Dhabi.”