Cyril Abiteboul says the result of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix was positive for the Renault F1 Team, but the kind of performance shown at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve needs to continue into future races.
It was by far the most competitive weekend of Renault’s season, with Daniel Ricciardo qualifying fourth and finishing sixth, just ahead of team-mate Nico Hülkenberg. It was the first time both drivers finished inside the points this season, and for Hülkenberg, the first time he has scored points at all since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The result moved Renault up to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, just two points off the McLaren F1 Team in fourth. However, more importantly for team principal Abiteboul, the result gives confidence to everyone at Enstone, particularly with Renault’s home Grand Prix coming up in two weeks time at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France.
“This weekend is no more than the blueprint we set ourselves as an objective and the demonstration that we are able to achieve it,” said Abiteboul. “We need it to continue in the upcoming races and Daniel’s sixth position and Nico’s seventh, the best possible results at this stage under normal conditions, restart our season.
“The drivers were faultless all over the weekend. Daniel was exceptional in his qualifying lap yesterday [Saturday], he gave us all a smile nearly as wide as his!
“The rest of the team executed everything impeccably giving us confidence back while also not forgetting errors made at the beginning of the season,” added Abiteboul. “We remain very concentrated and conscious of the work there is left to do.“
Abiteboul says the team can now look forward to their home Grand Prix, and can take confidence from the race in Canada, particularly from the engine department side, after recent power unit struggles were put behind them.
“We’re moving forward to the French Grand Prix from tonight, as it marks the second stage of our recovery plan after the first one on the engine side, which has benefitted from the visibility and the recognition it deserved on the most challenging circuits of the calendar,” concluded Abiteboul.