Formula 1

Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul: “A race like this one exposes more of our weaknesses”

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Nico Hülkenberg - Renault Sport Formula One Team
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Cyril Abiteboul felt it was a ‘mixed weekend’ for the Renault Sport Formula One Team around the Circuit de Monaco, although he was pleased to see both Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. finish inside the points.

Hülkenberg claimed eighth and Sainz tenth on Sunday, with the latter playing the team game superbly by not holding up his team-mate, who was on fresher tyres and was targeting Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda’s Pierre Gasly ahead of him.

However, Abiteboul, the team principal of the Enstone-based team, says Monaco has a way of highlighting the weaknesses of a car, and there is work to do to address the problems ahead of the next race in Canada.

“It’s been a mixed weekend,” said Abiteboul.  “The overall result is good; two cars in the points and a good cushion in fourth in the championship, but a race like this one exposes more of our weaknesses.

“Carlos did his best with the strategy, but experienced more severe tyre degradation than expected on his set of Ultrasofts. We have to thank him for playing the team game and helping us with the result today.

“Nico’s first tyres came back to life so we could implement the strategy that we had planned and he could secure eighth.”

Renault left Monaco without a point in 2017 so to leave the principality with five in 2018 is an improvement, but Abiteboul wants to work out just why they were not as competitive this weekend as they have been so far this year.

“Despite the fact it is a much better result than last year in Monaco, we were not as competitive as recent races and more work needs to be done on tyre management and understanding, as in the current situation we are almost better to start P11 and have a free tyre choice than to start within the first ten with the qualifying tyres,” said Abiteboul.

“Clearly some teams ahead of us manage to make it work, so it is possible. Let’s move on to Montreal.”

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