Renault’s Alan Permane: “It was relatively straightforward up until Q3”

Renault struggled for performance in Q3
Credit: Renault Sport Formula One Team

Alan Permane says the Renault Sport Formula One Team will look into the reasons why neither Nico Hülkenberg or Carlos Sainz Jr. could extract as much performance from their R.S.18’s during the top ten shootout as they did earlier in the Qualifying session.

Hülkenberg will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from seventh on the grid, while Sainz will start tenth, but had the pace of Q2 translated into Q3, both drivers should have been higher up the grid, with the German already revealing that he could and should have been as high as fifth.

However, a double top-ten start is positive for Renault, and Permane, Renault’s Sporting Director, says it gives them a good starting point, especially as they were happy with their long-run pace during Friday’s practice sessions.

“It was relatively straightforward up until Q3, however we weren’t able to extract the expected pace improvement in the final session so that’s something we’re looking at,” said Permane.  “Overall, the R.S.18 is working very well for the second race running and we’re learning more about it every time.

“We’re happy with our long-run pace from Friday and it will be a different race to Melbourne in terms of tyre degradation, which will be a lot higher here. We’re looking at the strategic options.”