Renault’s lack of power proving costly in Austria

0 Comments

Pastor Maldonado has explained how the lack of power in the Renault engines has been particularly noticeable this weekend in Austria.

The Lotus driver qualified fourteenth at the Red Bull Ring yesterday, which is in fact his best Saturday result of the season so far. However, he made no secret of the struggles that Lotus and the other Renault-powered teams have been dealing with.

“For sure we are not where we want to be,” Maldonado explained after qualifying. “We were expecting to be even more competitive this weekend because of the kind of track and the downforce level of the track, but we realized that we are paying a lot for the lack of power here.

“It’s very clear. Even Red Bull, they are in the same conditions like us. In qualy, we are maybe a tenth away from Red Bull, which is not that much. I think in terms of work and what the team did and how we prepared for the race, I think we are not that bad. We are close to Red Bull, which is our main reference.

“They’ve been doing some podiums, some good races with the same engine, and here they are struggling more. For sure, they are slightly quicker still, but less than the other races.”

The Renault-powered teams – Lotus, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham – have all been struggling with their power units this season after the French marque fell behind schedule during the off-season. Despite coming a long way since the beginning of the year, there are still problems that are blighting the form of its customers.

In fact, the problem is so big at Red Bull that Helmut Marko has suggested the team could switch engine supplier or even produce power units in-house in the future.

For Maldonado, the focus in Austria will be on improving his best finish this season of fourteenth.

You can watch the Austrian GP live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
0 Comments

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.