Renault Sport Formula 1 Team’s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul is happy with the progress the team has made with the car, despite a difficult Hungarian Grand Prix.
Nico Hulkenberg qualified an excellent seventh but started the race down in twelfth following a grid penalty and, despite working his way up through the field, was unable to finish due to a late race collision with Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen, which saw him running across the grass at the exit of turn two.
Team-mate Jolyon Palmer had to take avoiding action at only the third corner of the race to miss a sideways Daniel Ricciardo, which lost him valuable time and positions, and ultimately Abiteboul feels the race was a missed opportunity at a track that could have yielded good points for the team.
“It’s a disappointing result on Sunday from what could have been a very strong weekend for us,” said Abiteboul.
“Our starts weren’t good enough with either car to move up the order, especially for Nico to recover from the gearbox penalty. Subsequently, we were caught in quite a procession as it is difficult to pass here.
“It was clear that Nico had more pace than Jolyon in the early stages, so they swapped position. Unfortunately, Nico was subsequently delayed with a wheel gun issue on his stop and this dealt his chances of points a fatal blow.
“His race then came to a premature end after being pushed off track by Magnussen, which caused a number of issues on the car. Jo had a solid race however the pace wasn’t strong enough for points.”
Whilst a no additional points would otherwise have been a bad result, Renault are at least happy with the progress they have made with the car in the first half of the season, and Abiteboul is looking forward to testing it further after the summer break.
“Despite the disappointment today, we have taken a clear step forward with the car, as shown in qualifying and in clean air, so we are eager to put this into play in Spa,” said Abiteboul.