Cyril Abiteboul feels the Hungarian Grand Prix offers the Renault Sport Formula One Team a good opportunity to consolidate its fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship, with the Enstone-based team currently twenty-one points clear of their closest challengers.
Nico Hülkenberg’s fifth place finish last weekend at the Hungaroring ensured they edged out the gap a little, with the Haas F1 Team and Sahara Force India F1 Team currently on fifty-nine points after the first eleven races, compared to eighty for Renault.
Carlos Sainz Jr. has failed to score points in any of the past three races, but team principal Abiteboul feels the nature of the Hungaroring should suit the R.S.18 and allow both drivers to challenge for points.
“As the last race prior to the start of the summer break, the Hungarian Grand Prix acts as a good opportunity to gain some ground in the standings,” said Abiteboul. “We’re just over halfway through 2018, which has proved interesting, yet challenging in our push for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“We enter Budapest on the back of a good result in Germany. Ten points meant we extended our advantage to over 20 points over our nearest rivals, but there’s still a long way to go and a lot of hard work to follow if we are to maintain this slender gap.”
Abiteboul says that the summer break will be welcome but there is still important work to be done before then, starting with a strong performance in the Hungary race as well as two days of post-race testing at the Hungaroring, which will see Development Driver Artem Markelov take to the track in the R.S.18 for the first time.
“Before we can start to think about the summer break, we must get through this tricky race on the calendar,” said Abiteboul. “We know the Hungaroring is a challenging circuit for a number of reasons, but like any round, we go there with a sense of optimism and high standards.
“Then we have an important two-day test following the race, an extra period of time to learn more about our car and to give our Test & Development Driver Artem Markelov the opportunity to sample modern Formula 1 machinery for the first time; a natural next step for his career.”