Renault software fix was "one line of code" - Abiteboul

Renault Formula 1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul is confident that a "very simple" software fix will have addressed the issue that had ruled Nico Hulkenberg out of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Renault software fix was "one line of code" - Abiteboul

The German was forced to retire from the Shanghai race after suffering from a software glitch related to the change to a new-spec MGU-K, which was fast-tracked through following the problems suffered by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz in Australia, and then by both Hulkenberg and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in Bahrain.

A software issue that the team didn’t catch during the transition to the upgraded spec caught Hulkenberg out in China, and despite attempting a reset from the cockpit, he had no choice but to stop. A fix has been put in place for Azerbaijan.

“We have a very simple change in one line of code, and hopefully that will have sorted the problem we had in Shanghai,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. “We hope not to see any new problems at this race.

“Basically it’s a default mode that can be triggered. It’s an infinite loop, like sometimes on your laptop, when you see the task manager consuming 98% of the whole CPU. It’s exactly what happened, it’s an open loop and the system was trying to go through that open loop and go through a new process lap after lap, because of the default mode.

“We tried to reset it, but we just needed to do a power cycle in the garage, and it was back online. It’s not something you can do on track.”

Abiteboul said that the glitch slipped through the net because of the workload involved in rushing the new-spec MGU-K to the track after Sainz’s Melbourne failure.

“I was confident that we brought the right fixes, and it’s true, we haven’t had any hardware failure related to the one we had in Melbourne and thereafter in Bahrain.

“The problem is it took time to send back the parts from Melbourne, to understand the problem, to design a fix, to order the fix, to receive the fix, inspect it, to sign off, and to send back to the races and to send back to the races in enough quantities for our team and our customer – it’s just insane.

“It’s a challenge that everyone is facing, but it’s a challenge. We did 95% of what needed to be done, we had to fast-track some of those different steps, and by doing that there was a gap in the software side of things, and that’s what hurt Nico.

“So actually nothing has changed, nothing has evolved, in terms of hardware. The software side has evolved.”

Abiteboul pointed Renault has secured only two top-10 finishes thus far in 2019 – both seventh places – and yet the team is still fourth in the world championship.

“It was good to have Daniel where we think that we need to be at this point in the season in terms of competitiveness in China.

“Now I’d like to have a clean weekend with the two cars scoring points. We are P4 just with two cars having been able to complete the race, so it just says something about our competitiveness in that group, but obviously we want to do better than that.”

Read also:

shares
comments
Why Ferrari had an unusual advantage in Baku

Previous article

Why Ferrari had an unusual advantage in Baku

Next article

Ron Dennis opens up on what made Ayrton Senna “phenomenal”

Ron Dennis opens up on what made Ayrton Senna “phenomenal”
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Azerbaijan GP
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Adam Cooper
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021