Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul: “The weekend went almost exactly to plan“

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Renault Sport Formula 1 Team Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul, says although the French squad did not make it easy for themselves this season, what they have achieved is fantastic, and to end 2017 on a high by taking sixth in the constructor’s standings is a huge boost for the team going into the winter break.

The Frenchman feels they have more or less achieved what they set out to do at the start of the season, but have on occasion pushed too hard, or not been confident enough to go through with some of their ideas, which has held them back.

This weekend Abiteboul says they went extreme, and it almost paid off, had a pit stop error for Carlos Sainz Jr. not prevented the Spaniard from finishing the race.

“Mission accomplished. We came here with one clear objective. At the start of the year we set out to finish fifth, which was very ambitious, but ambition is good – you have to set high targets.

“This season we’ve not made it easy for ourselves and the last three weekends have been a microcosm of this rollercoaster of a year.

“At times we’ve been too aggressive, then too conservative, but we came to Abu Dhabi with a very extreme preparation and the weekend went almost exactly to plan.”

Ahead of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Renault revised their goal to achieving a more realistic sixth place in the standings, and they got there through driver Nico Hulkenberg who brought home the eight points they needed to move ahead of Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Abiteboul says it was a fantastic achievement and one that he is extremely proud of. He also believes it will give the whole squad huge confidence going into the winter break.

“Sixth was the revised goal and I’m so proud we got it. It’s a milestone for the team and an achievement that goes beyond the on-track result.

“It’s a motivation for everyone – for every team member and a fantastic reward that will count far more through the winter than any financial considerations.”