Renault has revealed that the engine failure that cost Pastor Maldonado a points finish at Sepang was caused by a piston failure, with safeguards being put in place to try and avoid a repeat.

Maldonado missed out on a top ten finish for the second successive race when his engine let go in the closing stages of the Malaysian race, adding to his earlier retirement on the final lap in Australia where he crashed out while chasing Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

Having examined the engine, Renault has now explained the failure which it hopes won't be repeated later in the season.

"We used the intervening time between Malaysia and China to thoroughly investigate the engine failure we had on Pastor's car in Malaysia and quickly identified it as a piston failure," head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations Remi Taffin said. "As a result we are looking to put in place safeguards to prevent it happening again to Williams or our other clients."

Maldonado will now hope to open his account for the season this weekend in Shanghai and the Venezuelan said he was keen to replicate the pace he has displayed thus far and secure a strong result.

"Shanghai is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar so I am really looking forward to the race," he said. "The circuit has a nice combination of slow and medium speed corners and good sequences that are fun to drive. It is also very challenging because it is difficult to get close to the car in front to take advantage of the long DRS zone. We have shown good pace in the first two races and hopefully we can continue to improve here and pick up some points."

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