Cyril Abiteboul felt it was a frustrating afternoon for the Renault Sport Formula One Team on Sunday at the Hungaroring after scoring just two points for a ninth place finish for Carlos Sainz Jr., while Nico Hülkenberg was only able to claim twelfth.
It was particularly disappointing after Sainz had started fifth on the grid after playing a starring role in Saturday’s wet Qualifying session in Hungary, but Abiteboul, the team principal of the Enstone-based team, felt it was the wrong call on strategy and starting tyre that cost the Spaniard as he fell behind Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso during the race.
“It was a frustrating day for us and we know we are capable of better,” said Abiteboul. “We had a good start from both cars, but then Carlos lost positions on the first lap and neither driver was able to make any headway thereafter.
“We were too conservative in terms of start tyres, strategy and the balance of the car was not good. We have two days of testing ahead of us here at the Hungaroring to work on these specific areas in addition to completing a busy program for development items for the second half of the season and directions for next year.”
Abiteboul wants to see the progress the team has made so far in 2018 continue beyond the summer break as they bid to consolidate their fourth position in the championship standings, although they will be aiming higher in 2019 and beyond.
“Aside from today’s race, we can reflect on the first half of the season as being in line with our target, but we cannot satisfy ourselves just with our championship position,” said Abiteboul.
“We need to accelerate in every area of the team so that we not only reach our goal this year but to make sure we carry on our progression towards our long-term plan to be competing at a higher level in subsequent years.”