Carlos Sainz Jr was the first retirement in the Formula 1 2019 season-opener, as his McLaren stopped with an MGU-K failure in the Australian Grand Prix.
The retirement came on lap 11, initially with smoke appearing from the rear of the Renault-powered McLaren.
As fire took hold, the Spaniard pulled over in the entry to the pit lane, with marshals on hand to extinguish the flames.
McLaren’s Chief Executive Officer, Zac Brown indicated to Sky Sports during the race it was due to a MGU-K failure.
Speaking after the race, Sainz was pleased with the running he had.
“Yeah, we were starting far back, but we going into contention early on,” he said.
“I overtook four cars at the start and I was already 14th. Everything was going to plan.
“Bad luck, we lost the MGU-K and retired, so hopefully all that bad luck is gone for the start of the season.”
Pleased to be fighting with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, Sainz believed points were possible for the team this weekend.
“The car felt really good and we could have been in the points.”
Sainz had already endured a difficult weekend on his McLaren debut, starting out of position after being held up by Williams’ Robert Kubica in qualifying on Saturday.
Sunday’s retirement was the first time he has failed to score points in Australia.