Renault aiming for double points after successful qualifying

by Becca Stubbs

Renault F1 Team appeared to find some form on the historic Silverstone circuit during Saturday’s qualifying session as both drivers made it through to Q3 for only the third time this season.

The French outfit have looked to struggle so far this season, with consistency lacking in their performances on track.

However, Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualified in seventh, just behind the ‘big six’ and Nico Hülkenberg will start Sunday’s race in tenth following his Q3 lap.

After finishing in seventh, Ricciardo was pleased with the progress the team had made, “Today is a really good recovery, especially after the last round. It shows we’ve done a lot of work, discovered a bit more from the car and then executed a good qualifying.

“I’m really happy with today. Having both cars in Q3 was our objective, we’ve achieved that, and seventh is probably the best we can reach at the moment.”

Although he made it into Q3, Hülkenberg failed to make too much of a mark in the session and found himself at the bottom of the pack, starting in tenth.

And he seemed a little more downbeat than his teammate and revealed he’d lost confidence in the car during the weekend.

“It’s positive to be back in Q3, but we can’t be entirely happy as tenth isn’t an ideal starting spot. I couldn’t find the balance between front and rear all weekend and that continued in qualifying.

“You need confidence in the car here and that wasn’t all there today. I can’t complain too much, it’s an improvement since the last round.”

Sporting Director of Renault F1 Team, Alan Permane, reiterated his driver’s thoughts and seemed thrilled with the result in qualifying.

“It’s good to be back in Q3 where this car and this team belong after a tough couple of weekends. The session went completely to plan. Both drivers did a good job and Nico was a little bit unlucky at the end to miss out on a couple of places for less than two tenths.”

Last time out, in Austria, Renault finished the race twelfth and thirteenth and their rivals McLaren F1 Team extended their lead in the championship, who currently sit fifth in the Constructor’s Championship.

Their failure to score points in Austria was their fourth non-scoring race of the season but the team are determined to put some points on the board after a disappointing last few weekends.

Ricciardo has his eyes on a double prize and added: “Tomorrow we need to take some points off our rivals and we’re in prime position to do that. We’ll try and stay up there and put some smiles back on the team. Our car looked good on long runs so we’ll be targeting a double-points finish tomorrow.”

Following the last few weekends, Hülkenberg is also up for the fight on Sunday and is aiming to finish as high up the grid as he can: “Tomorrow we need to score well, but we know it will be a fight. We’ll do our best to come away with as many points as we can.”

Permane is also confident in the team and has pinpointed Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon and Mclaren rookie Lando Norris as the two targets for Sunday’s race.

He added: “I think that we are in very good shape for tomorrow. The ambition as always is for the race is to move up the order as much as we can and obviously for Daniel that will be tricky sitting behind the top six cars but you never know. We will do all we can and Nico will certainly target getting past Albon and Norris. The weather looks stable for Sunday and hopefully it will be a straightforward race.”

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