In the quest for racing perfection, some teams just go a little but too far, don’t they? Renault have bucked the trend of having their exhausts point out the back of their car this season, but in Hungary the achilles heel of the system was clear for the world to see; a long pit-stop.
Having dived into the pits for a set of super-softs, Nick Heidfeld was held up by a wheel nut that just wouldn’t go on. Eventually, the Renault mechanics got the rear tyre on, but the damage had been done – the engine had overheated and smoke was pouring out of the left hand sidepod. Exiting the pits, it became flames, then a full-blown fire. Nick can be excused from the flamboyant (ninja-esque) jump from the car, it was worrying stuff.
Worse was to come though. The ever diligent track marshals got their fire extinguishers on the car early, but the sudden drop in temperature didn’t agree whatever was on fire, as this fan video shows…
Back in the days of old, teams would put higher revving engines in their cars for qualifying and performance gains. These engines would work, but be highly volatile and often explode in a cloud of smoke. Handily, these engines got the nickname “hand grenade”. We’re betting that Heidfeld will hope Renault use the summer break wisely (after the two week curfew), and that no more of this happens with him in the seat!