Hydraulic failure put the brakes on Jolyon Palmer’s Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday before it even started.
Having lined up 19th on the starting grid after a challenging qualifying session behind the wheel of his Renault Sport Formula One Team R.S.16, the young British rookie was forced back to the pits at the end of the formation lap.
Despite the best efforts of his engineers, the issue was unable to be rectified, consigning the Southwater driver to retirement without racing.
He said: “Having got one Grand Prix under my belt, I was looking forward to racing today so I’m disappointed at not making it past the formation lap.
“I think we could have had a chance to move up the grid, especially after our strong performance in Melbourne. Everything was okay with the car until the last corner of the lap, but then I had to go straight into the pits.
“It looks like it was related to hydraulics and we’ll be looking into it with the team to understand what happened. These things can happen in racing, and I certainly want to move to the next race in China as quickly as possible.”
His team-mate Kevin Magnussen finished in 11th place, meaning Renault has failed to score a point in the opening two races on its return to F1.
Nico Rosberg took a comfortable win as Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton fought back to third place after a first-lap collision. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was second.
The victory is Rosberg’s fifth in a row and sees him open up an early 17-point lead in the championship over Hamilton. Palmer will look to put the weekend’s disappointment behind him at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai (April 15-17).
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