Hulkenberg hits 'major problem' hours out of Japanese GP

Nico Hulkenberg ran into a “major problem” in the second segment of Japanese Grand Prix qualifying, with Renault having just three hours to fix it before the race.

Sunday’s truncated schedule put extra peril on qualifying, with Robert Kubica and Kevin Magnussen crashing in Q1 to give Williams and Haas extensive rebuild jobs.

Hulkenberg had made steady progress to Q2, but when on his out lap at the end of the session, got stuck in seventh gear.

The German was told his car had run into trouble and was instructed to bring it back to the garage without changing gears.

It compounded frustrations at Renault after Daniel Ricciardo went out in Q1.