"Sheared bolt" marred Hulkenberg's return


In the moments before the British Grand Prix was due to get underway it became clear that the fairy-tale many F1 fans had been hoping for would not become a reality.

From the moment his name entered the frame on Thursday, many wondered if Nico Hulkenberg might take advantage of his return to the F1 grid and finally achieve the podium finish that had eluded him over the course of his 178 race career.

Alas, starting from 13th made his task all that much harder, then again triskaidekaphobiacs will have seen the writing on the wall.

While the other cars headed to the grid, the German's was still in the garage with mechanics swarming all over it.

When the pitlane closed it was clear that Hulkenberg would have to start the race from the pitlane, thus ending any genuine hope of a podium.

But then the German was seen walking away to the paddock, while work on his car came to a halt, his race was run before it had begun.

"It looks like a bolt sheared within the clutch housing and that bolt got caught and therefore wouldn't allow the internal combustion engine to turn over," team boss, Otmar Szafnauer subsequently revealed. "So where the bolt fell off, it got jammed, and we couldn't turn the engine over.

"It's a bit early to understand why," he continued, "but it did shear off so it could be a material issue, it could be an over-torque issue, I don't know.

"I'm sure all of those bolts are torqued to a certain specification, say the torque ratio isn't set right and you over-torque it, it could shear it. It could be a material issue in manufacturing, but until you look into all of those things, was the bolt brittle for example, I don't know. So we'll have to understand the root cause and make sure we fix it."

Though the fairy-tale podium wasn't on the cards, the race would have given Hulkenberg some much needed preparation for next weekend's Anniversary race.

"It would have been very useful for Nico to get a race in, unfortunately he didn't," admitted Szafnauer. "He did a great job jumping in the deep end, starting from zero really, he didn't do any winter testing, didn't understand the car at all, it's a different car than he drove before, a different powertrain.

"The team is similar to when he was here," he continued, "but he still had a different engineer as his old engineer is on Lance's car, but the rest of the guys he worked closely with, so he did a remarkable job.

"It was a steep learning curve, he did great to qualify where he did and it's a shame he didn't get to race."

Check out our Race Day gallery from Silverstone, here.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 03/08/2020
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2022. All rights reserved.