Cyril Abiteboul thought the Renault F1 Team were in a very good position after qualifying at the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix. Nico Hülkenberg qualified in eleventh place, and his teammate Daniel Riccardo qualified in seventh; but the race saw only Riccardo score points for the team.
“After the good qualifying, we thought a big part of the job had been done.” said Abiteboul.
On lap nine Hülkenberg had contact with Scuderia Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc. As Leclerc’s tyre began to delaminate meaning a safety car was sent out on lap ten. This was what Aiteboul, thought caused Riccardo to have a disappointing race, as he and Haas‘ Kevin Magnussen pitted, which ended up becoming the wrong the decision for the team.
With Hülkenberg having the contact with Leclerc, it left him to have a dismal race. He had to recover from the contact and managed to recover to thirteenth but failed to score point for the French team.
“Unfortunately, the single most important decision of the day was to stop Daniel under the safety car. It turned out to be the wrong one, on the basis that it gave McLaren the opportunity to execute a smart team strategy with Norris and Sainz.“
However, it was not all bad for the French team, as Abiteboul described the “positive” from Monaco, as Riccardo managed to work his way back from the early pitstop and get two points as he finished in ninth place.
“A small positive is that we return into the points, but the bigger positive is that the car has demonstrated its potential, not just on the short runs yesterday, but on the longer runs today.
“It’s clearly a missed opportunity that does not reward the hard work of the team and the drivers to improve the competitiveness of the package.”