Renault has revealed that a cracked exhaust caused Nick Heidfeld’s car to catch fire at the Hungarian Grand Prix and the explosion that followed was due to the malfunction of an air bottle.
Heidfeld’s Renault was in flames after he drove off from the pits in the 23rd lap. Luckily, the driver jumped out just in time as an explosion in the left side-pod went off. The team has said that it will be unable to use the chassis again.
FIA, the governing body of the sport, had demanded that Renault submit a full report explaining the incident.
“Many incidents combined caused the fire,” said technical director James Allison. “We ran a different engine-mapping strategy which produced hotter-than-normal exhausts causing the pipe to crack. Fuel leaked through the crack that started the fire.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.