Renault Sport Formula One Team pushed all the way in the first-ever European Grand Prix on the Baku City Circuit. Different tyre strategies yielded similar results with Kevin Magnussen starting from the pit lane and stopping once to finish fourteenth whilst Jolyon Palmer finished one place behind after making two pit stops.
Kevin started the race from the pit lane following a set-up and gearbox change to his car. He started on a new set of Pirelli’s red supersoft tyres. He changed to the yellow soft compound on lap six, and remained on that set until the end of the 51 lap race.
Jolyon started the race in P21 on new supersoft tyres. He changed to new softs on lap eleven then new supersofts on lap 31.
Kevin Magnussen, #20, R.S.16-01 : Started P22, finished P14
“I think this was a good race in terms of what we got out of it. We qualified second to last, started from the pit lane and finished fourteenth ; that’s not too bad. We learnt about the car in some extreme areas of the set-up, which is good. The main thing to take away from this weekend is how the team kept their cool and stayed positive. They are winners ; they have been world champions many times, so for them to qualify on the last row is very tough. And yet, you can see, their reaction has been strong.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-02 : Started P21, finished P15
“We showed once again that our race pace is a lot better than our qualifying pace, which I am thankful for. I had a big flat spot on the soft tyres which meant I had to change ; up until then the pace was quite strong. The supersofts did well as well but it was tough to make up the time it takes to pit. That and making a mistake at the start pretty much decided my race. It’s a fun track to drive, it’s just a shame that we didn’t have the car for it today.”
Fred Vasseur, Racing Director
“Given where we started it was a good result today. Both drivers stayed focused and kept their heads down to achieve the best they could. After yesterday we changed Kevin’s set-up and gearbox which meant he started from the pit lane. We put him on a one-stop strategy and he drove intelligently with this. Jolyon also started with a one-stop strategy in mind but we switched him to a two-stop as a result of a flat spot and to try to make progress later in the race. Today’s result shows the never-give-up spirit of the team ; no matter what the odds we will keep pushing all the way.”