"With Nico we were targeting points," said team boss, Cyril Abiteboul, "but with the engine having to run in safe mode, and a very modest advantage over the soft tyre starters, we could not make our strategy really work."
"We struggled with the car, with an engine control issue from the beginning of the race," said Hulkenberg, who suffered a similar issue in qualifying in Bahrain, "which meant I lost, consistently, three-tenths a lap.
"That made things tricky, and we just didn't have the pace to progress into the points.
"It's a good time for a break," he admitted. "As a team we will regroup, think a few things over because we need to up our game in the second part of the season."
Daniel Ricciardo, who started from the back of the grid following an engine change, completed 46 laps on his hards before switching to softs, the Australian 'enjoying' a late battle with an obstinate Kevin Magnussen.
"He had a good fight with Magnussen until the last corner," said Abiteboul, "showing that he is a fighter who does not surrender.
"His attitude on track must be an inspiration for us as we head towards the summer break, with a first half of the season well below our objectives."
"It was frustrating not to get past Magnussen," admitted the Australian. "I felt he was moving under braking, and I couldn't do anything. I wasn't happy about that as we could have progressed even further at the end.
"There are some positives and the summer break will be good for us. We'll reset, take some time off, we know we're in it together and we'll be targeting a better second-half of the season."