Nico Hülkenberg has told of his satisfaction with starting his 2018 season with seventh place in Australia, but believes that the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team still have work to do.
Hülkenberg finished the race where he started it, but – like Fernando Alonso and the McLaren F1 Team – profited from mistakes ahead of him. The German saw both Haas F1 Team cars retire from a net fourth and fifth place seconds after their pitstops.
The 28-year-old did welcome the competitiveness of the car, he ended the race just five seconds away from Alonso in fifth and managed to keep Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas at bay in the later stages of the race.
“We should be pretty happy with today,” said Hülkenberg.
“The pace of the car was strong and competitive, but we know we still have a lot of work to do.”
Hülkenberg had found himself trailing team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. all weekend until Qualifying 3 and the German was pleased with the haul of points. Having made the decision to release Jolyon Palmer from his duties before the end of the 2017 season, Renault secured sixth place in Constructors’ Championship and hope to make further improvements this year.
“I’m happy with how the weekend has progressed,” he added.
“Friday wasn’t great for me, but we’ve turned it into a decent result and a satisfying Sunday. We got lucky with retirements, but also unlucky with the safety car, but that’s racing and taking six points home is a just reward for the team’s hard work.”