Alan Permane says the Renault F1 Team are ‘reasonably happy’ with Daniel Ricciardo’s performance during Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, but there was naturally disappointment on the other side of the garage as Nico Hülkenberg was eliminated in Q1.
Renault came into the 2019 campaign aiming to be the fourth fastest team on the grid and closer than it has been to the leading three teams, but the opening races of the year have not gone the way they hoped they would, and Qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was another day where they under-performed as a team.
Permane, the Sporting Director of the Enstone-based team, admitted there were mixed emotions from Qualifying thanks to Ricciardo’s and Hülkenberg’s much different sessions, with the duo set to start thirteenth and sixteenth respectively on Sunday, once the Australian’s three-place grid penalty from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is applied.
“We have mixed emotions from today’s qualifying session,” said Permane. “We’re reasonably happy with Daniel’s result. We could have done a bit more and we know this isn’t our favourite track.
“Nico had a challenging session, going off on his first lap made it difficult for him to recover.”
Turning his attention to race day, Permane reckons tyre life expectations could make for interesting and varied strategies, with Renault aiming to make the most of this to attempt to score only their third points finish of the season.
“Tyre life in the race could make for interesting strategy variations and, as always, we will aim to maximise every opportunity,” concluded Permane.