Slowly but surely, momentum is gathering pace at Renault as Nico Hulkenberg’s points-scoring finish in Sochi yesterday reflected.
Beyond the German drivers’ results however, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul underlined the improved race pace of the team’s RS17, a progress which bodes well for races to come.
“Another step forward for the team this weekend, not only confirming that we are regular top ten qualifiers but also showing that our race pace has improved relative to our qualifying performance too,” Abiteboul said.
“It was a really exciting race for Nico as we ran a reactive strategy after a poor first lap, trying to take the fight to the Force India cars as best we could.
“With an unusual strategy, we kept the pressure on them for most of the race, but eventually Nico had to manage his fuel and could not really threaten Esteban.
“We did everything we could at a circuit we knew would not be one of the most favourable for our package.”
- Hulkenberg wrestles another points-scoring finish for Renault
Renault and Hulkenberg pretty much achieved what they set out to do. While it’s all still a work in progress for the French outfit, it is moving in the right direction.
“Our overall performance gives us strong optimism as we head to tracks which should be more suited to our car, especially as we have a healthy development program lined-up,” Abiteboul added.
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“Jolyon had a very tough race weekend with a very short race after Romain’s ambitious move. It is a real shame as he had shown clear signs of competitiveness on Friday and Saturday.
“We owe a big thanks to everyone in the garage this weekend as there have been some very long hours worked, without a single fault.
Gallery: All the action from Sunday in Sochi
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