Alan Permane says the Renault Sport Formula One Team is aiming for another two-car points finish in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend despite Nico Hülkenberg starting the race fourteenth following a gearbox change penalty.
The Sporting Director of the Enstone-based team was delighted to see both Hülkenberg and team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. advance into the top ten shootout for the fourth consecutive race weekend, with the Spaniard set to start ninth on the grid on Sunday.
And Permane feels the team should be aiming to come out on top of the intense battle to be the fourth best team on the grid this weekend, despite the likes of the Sahara Force India F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing showing better form than they have previously this season.
“We can be pretty satisfied with that qualifying result,” said Permane. “We didn’t have a good FP3 this morning due to various issues, so we were happy to get both cars into Q3.
“Our competitors for fourth in the championship are behind us, which puts us in a stronger position, but we need to concentrate on our own race and the midfield, which is again extremely tight.
“Nico will have a five-place grid penalty after a gearbox change, but as we’ve seen in the past here it’s a tough race. We’d hope and expect him to recover and we’re targeting points for both cars tomorrow.”
With strong winds expected on Sunday, Permane admits there is very little they can do to reduce its effect, although he expects the sheltered nature of parts of the track to minimise its effect in any case.
“The high wind is a consideration for everyone, there’s not really a great deal we can do,” said Permane. “We’ve experienced cars running in high wind before and know it’s difficult to manage, but most of the track is sheltered with the buildings so I don’t think it will have too much effect.”