Bahrain Grand Prix – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo has been summonsed to appear before race stewards after failing to reattach the steering wheel of his car after retiring.
Update: No action taken against Daniel Ricciardo/Renault. The stewards accepted the explanation from Ricciardo that the ERS light was on following the car’s shutdown, meaning Daniel felt the car was unsafe to touch.
The FIA statement: “The car stopped on entry to turn 2 due to power unit issues. The ERS system alert light then went to red signifying the car was electrically unsafe. The team radioed the driver to shut down the power unit and electrical system, and to jump from the car. The driver was also instructed not to touch the car. (The Stewards note that this is the normal safety procedure in such circumstances to avoid potential electrocution). The driver felt it would be dangerous to try to replace the steering wheel in these circumstances.”
Renault had a disastrous ending to their Bahrain Grand Prix. With both cars running in the points as Nico Hulkenberg ran P6 and Daniel Ricciardo P9, the pair retired within seconds of each other with apparent mechanical trouble.
Hulkenberg suffered what appeared to be a power unit related failure into Turn 1 with seven laps remaining. Pulling over to the side of the track, Ricciardo slowed approaching the yellow flag zone. His Renault was negotiating Turn 1 when his car just switched off, leading him to pull over just metres away from Hulkenberg’s car.
The double DNF brought out the Safety Car to end the race. Since then, Ricciardo has been summoned before the race stewards as he left his RS19 without its steering wheel attached.
According to Ricciardo, the red light indicating electrical charge running through the car was on, meaning he didn’t want to touch the car again while out of it.
🏁 Chequered flag 🏁
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) March 31, 2019