Renault’s Abiteboul: “To score points at our current level, you have to take risks”


Renault Sport Formula 1 Team - Monaco GP 2017. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Renault Sport Formula 1 Team Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul was unhappy with the outcome of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, following the retirement of driver Nico Hulkenberg on lap 16 of the race.

The German was forced to stop the car following a gearbox failure, after smoke was seen pouring from the back of the RS17, denting the French team’s chances of scoring further points this weekend.

It was a shame for both Renault and Hulkenberg, who had looked like he had good pace before the issue occurred, and was highly likely to make up some places from his tenth place starting position.

Abiteboul admits it was a risk to let the German race despite analysis flagging up a potential problem, but believes you do not get anywhere without taking a chance now and again.

“Generally speaking it was a disappointing weekend at the end of this Monaco Grand Prix where we really wanted to continue our strong run of progression in the Championship.

“The team did a lot of work on Friday that allowed us to address a challenging situation after Thursday practice and to assure two respectable positons on the grid.

“Our analysis showed there was a risk with Nico’s gearbox, but we chose to keep it in the car to avoid a penalty if we made a change. To score points at our current level, you have to take risks.

“That is motor racing and today it didn’t pay off. It is frustrating because Nico had good pace.”

Abiteboul was also content with driver Jolyon Palmer’s performance this weekend, the Brit finishing just out of the points in eleventh place, and just 1.3 seconds away from bagging that final point, having started from sixteenth on the grid.

To make up five places at Monaco is a stellar effort from the Brit, considering how notorious the Monaco track is for its lack of overtaking possibilities. Alas, Palmer’s display did not yield a points paying result, and it is now onwards to Canada where Renault are ready to come out firing on all cylinders.

“Jolyon drove a good race and made no mistakes, which is good for his confidence. Now this confidence should see him qualify better in order to be in a position to score points on Sunday.”