Nico Hulkenberg believes Renault is at the point where it needs to begin to ask itself “serious questions” following a poor first half of the season.

Renault headed into 2019 off the back of a fourth-placed finish last year, with intentions to consolidate its position as well as close the gap to the top three teams.

A catalogue of reliability issues and an inconsistent package has seen it fall behind its targets, sitting a lowly sixth in the constructors’ standings some 43 points adrift of McLaren who currently hold fourth place.

Reflecting on Renault’s performance in the opening 12 races, Hulkenberg feels the French outfit must sit down and review why it hasn’t hit expectations.

“It’s a tough one. It’s obviously quite below our expectations and the targets,” Hulkenberg said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“I think we need to ask ourselves some serious questions and review a couple of things internally.

“There have been far more lows than highs, unfortunately, and not really satisfying.”

Asked to clarify what those serious questions were, Hulkenberg replied: “Just how we go about things and where we’ve come the last 18 months with the car, what we’ve been doing, and the effect it has, which is not that much of an effect.

“So we need to ask ourselves in the future so updates will bring some yield and bring us forward.”

Renault’s tough campaign hasn’t been made easier by a failure to score points in the last two events. Hulkenberg finished 12th in Hungary, but a points finish could have been possible without suffering engine problems early on.

“I had a power unit issue very early in the race. We lost the seamless shift a bit and lost quite a bit of lap time from power, from speed, that made it hard to stay in the race,” said Hulkenberg.

“The car was quite difficult to drive again today. The balance didn’t really feel together at all today, it was fighting the front axle, the rear axle. I didn’t have the pace. With these things we can’t expect too much.”