As the 2019 Chinese GP weekend kicks off, the Ferrari and Renault teams are already on the back foot. This is because the two teams have already changed a few power unit components.
Last time around, Ferrari had a miserable weekend when a surefire win went down the drain when Charles LeClerc’s car failed. As a result, there were concerns that his engine suffered damage. Fortunately, Ferrari confirmed that Leclerc’s engine would remain unchanged this weekend.
However, the Maranello squad have decided to take no chances and changed a few settings. As it turns out, the electronics of both LeClerc’s and Sebastian Vettel’s car will be changed. In addition to that even the electronics of the Haas cars have been changed as they are Ferrari-powered.
In a similar vein, even the Renault powered teams are in this situation. As it turns out, three of the four Renault-powered cars have a new MGU-K strapped to the back of the car. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz is the only one who gets to keep the Bahrain spec components. The Spaniard already needed a new MGU-K in Bahrain after problems plagued in Melbourne.
According to the 2019 regulations, drivers are allowed a maximum of two control electronics throughout the season. Any more components used will incur a penalty.
The French manufacturer has delivered an upgraded MGU-K to Shanghai this weekend. They have done this in order to put to rest the reliability concerns that have haunted them. The reliability bit them where it hurts when both Renault cars were out of contention within a lap of each other.
Main driver, Nico Hulkenberg had a number of new parts kitted into his car following his retirement in the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago. As well as the MGU-K, Renault has installed a new engine, turbocharger and MGU-H.