Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver Nico Hulkenberg came home in sixth place at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, to snatch sixth place in the constructors standings from Scuderia Toro Rosso, in a race the German described as “a bit of a thriller!”
Hulkenberg received a five second stop and go penalty for a move he made early in the race on Sahara Force India F1 Team drive Sergio Perez. The German was deemed to have cut the track to make the pass and in doing so gained an advantage, he then failed to give that place back.
Despite the penalty however, the German was still able to undercut the Mexican in the first round of pit stops and remain ahead of the Force India driver for the remainder of the race, leading some to question whether the penalty received was actually appropriate.
Nevertheless, it was strong end to the season for Hulkenberg and the Renault Sport team, who will be full of positivity heading into the winter break, having finished 2017 on a high.
“It was a very interesting first lap, then very interesting again after the stop when I had to get past the Haas, which was super-fast on the straights and obviously, I had Checo right behind me waiting to take advantage.
“We managed to come out on top and it’s a very decent end to the season. Sixth position in the championship is good for us and will be a morale booster for the team over the winter.”
The German feels that Renault made strong progress over the second half of the year, but reliability has been a problem this season, and something they will need to iron out ahead of 2018. To end things on a good note however, is the perfect way to close off 2017 for Hulkenberg.
“We had a good package over the second half of the season, but we have had some issues so it is great to finish on a positive result and go into the winter with our chins up.”