Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Cyril Abiteboul praised the job his team did at the German Grand Prix as Nico Hülkenberg recorded a fifth placed finish in the mixed conditions at the Hockenheimring.
Fifth place was Hülkenberg’s best result for Renault and his best result in his home race with Abiteboul believing the home crowd played a big part in it.
“It was a very eventful race in front of an amazing crowd here at Hockenheim,” said Abiteboul. “It probably gave extra focus and motivation for Nico and that’s what he showed today.
“It would have been easy to make a mistake on the track, or make the wrong tyre call in the uncertain conditions. He, Mark Slade his engineer, and the whole team did an excellent job of staying on top of the conditions and making the right calls and execute them properly.”
Carlos Sainz Jr. did not have as good a day as his team-mate as he was classified twelfth after receiving a ten second time penalty for passing under the safety car and Abiteboul feels the luck was just not with the Spaniard this weekend.
“We have the feeling that Carlos could have joined the party where Nico was as well with a good start, good pace and similar stops, but it just did not go his way,” said Abiteboul. “He also lost two positions with the 10-second penalty post-race.
“We need to better understand what happened there as it was a very busy race.”
Sahara Force India F1 Team’s double points finish closed the gap between them and Renault to only eleven points and with Haas F1 Team level on points with Force India, Abiteboul knows the battle is still very tight for fourth place in the constructors’ championship.
“It’s a race which again showed it’s very tight between us, McLaren, Force India and Haas,” said the Frenchman. “There are ten more races to go, which means ten more tight and exciting battles for everyone.”