Abiteboul annoyed Renault could not take advantage of chaotic Baku race


Alain Prost / Cyril Abiteboul - Azerbaijan GP 2017. Credit: Renault Sport Formula 1 Team

Renault Sport Formula 1 Team Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul was frustrated that both of the squads cars retired from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend, marking the French team’s first double DNF of the year.

“On a day like today, a double DNF is the worst that can happen to the team both in terms of race results and in terms of championship position.”

Driver Jolyon Palmer had a frustrating weekend plagued by technical issues, and completed just seven laps of the race on Sunday, before the RS17 gave up and the Brit was forced to retire from the race.

The team is still unsure as to the exact cause of the problems experienced by Palmer, but Abiteboul has vowed they will investigate the situation straightaway.

“We need to understand and immediately address the technical issues that prevented Jolyon to even participate, and Nico to start higher in the grid this weekend.

“We saw a highly unusual and eventful Grand Prix today and we will do all we can to make sure that this will be our only double DNF of the season.”

Renault introduced an engine update in Baku, which they believe brought gains of around two tenths of a second a lap, and although the French squad were unable to benefit much from that personally with both drivers out before mid-race distance, customer team Red Bull Racing certainly appreciated the extra boost in performance.

Driver Daniel Ricciardo took the Milton Keynes based squads first victory of the season on Sunday, and Max Verstappen had looked mighty all weekend, but was forced to retire from the race when his engine gave way without warning.

The result was a pleasing one for Renault, and Abiteboul was happy that they could play a part in the win.

“The only positive note is that a Red Bull Racing car finished on the highest step of the podium, which, on a track like Baku, is a great reward to the efforts made in bringing extra power to our customers.”