Renault Sport Racing Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit will be about how teams negotiate the unpredictable climate.
Renault come into this weekend from Singapore with a bitter sweet feeling with Jolyon Palmer claiming his first points of the year with a sixth place finish, helping the Enstone team push up to seven place in the constructors standings. Nico Hulkenberg however, had to endure a car issue forcing him to retire after battling for a possible podium earlier on in the race.
Abiteboul feels the team left Singapore with mixed feelings over their results.
“Looking back to Singapore, it was one of those mixed weekends which left us with bittersweet feelings” said Abiteboul.
“We were delighted for Jolyon to score his first points of the season. He drove extremely well in tricky conditions and remained cool amidst all the action to take an impressive sixth and bring in some big points for the team. However, we are obviously disappointed that we had to retire Nico’s car and will address the issues we faced.”
With Palmer now on the points board, Abiteboul believes that the team can push for both cars to finish in the points in Malaysia and that the aim is still to finish fifth in the constructors standings.
“We have extra incentive to continue to push hard to ensure both cars are in the points in Malaysia.”
“A positive we can take from Singapore is that we have moved up a position in the Constructors’ Championship which means a step closer to our end of season goal of fifth place overall.”
Renault will introduce a new engine for Hulkenberg this weekend, taking his power unit element to the maximum of four for the season. Abiteboul believes that Renault can repeat their efforts and be the best team on the grid outside of the top three teams.
“Sepang will be about negotiating the unpredictable climate and getting the best out of the whole package in the heat and humidity.”
“As we continue to develop the chassis side, we will introduce a new engine on Nico’s car at the start of the weekend, his fourth, engine of the season. We fully expect to have both cars in the top ten as we have shown our capability on a number of occasions to be the best team behind the top three”