Renault Sport Formula One Team had a tough race at the Italian Grand Prix, with Nico Hülkenberg finishing thirteenth and Jolyon Palmer retiring after 29 laps. Nico made an early pit stop but was unable to work back up the order due to the unique high-speed challenges Monza presents. Jolyon, on a reverse tyre strategy from his team-mate, was making progress before his pit stop, however a five-second penalty dented his charge. He subsequently retired for safety concerns after a transmission issue arose. Today’s race was dry and sunny as a contrast to yesterday’s rain-affected qualifying.
• Nico started the race from P14 on his new set of Supersoft (red) Pirelli tyres, pitting on lap nine for a new set of Soft (yellow) tyres.
• Jolyon started the race from P17 on a new set of Soft tyres, pitting on lap 25 for a new set of Supersofts. He incurred a 5-sec. penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage over Fernando Alonso. On lap 29 he had a transmission issue and retired for safety reasons.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04: Started P14, finished P13
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to make into the points here today as the race was a bit of a struggle. As we had anticipated, we lost out on top speed, meaning we couldn’t fight with the cars ahead. I was also struggling with the balance, so overall it was a tough race. That said, I don’t think we need to go crazy over today’s performance. We need to look ahead to Singapore and focus on the next Grand Prix.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-03: Started P17, DNF
“Our strategy was promising and I was quite enjoying working up the order today. It wasn’t going to be our strongest race, but there was potential for a decent finish. Sadly, we had a transmission component failure which led to a precautionary stop. It’s a shame because I think the pace was looking quite strong with the Supersofts in the end.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director
“We were expecting a difficult Italian Grand Prix. We did everything within our means to get Nico into the points. However, with the pace we had today, it wasn’t possible; the balance of the car simply wasn’t there throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, we had an issue with the transmission on Jolyon’s car. We made the decision to stop his race, as it was dangerous to continue and risk a sudden breakage. His pace was encouraging and, unlike Nico, he felt good in the car but wouldn’t have been able to score points from where he was in the race.
“Nevertheless, there are two positives to take away: among our closest rivals in the Constructor’s Championship, only Williams scored points. Daniel Ricciardo’s spectacular drive through the field to fourth place must be highlighted. It’s the best finish for a Renault engine at Monza since the beginning of the V6 turbo hybrid era. Monza is a reference point and our progress year on year is promising. This result could have been even better if he was positioned further up on the starting grid. This shows that more than ever before, we have to continue to work hard on reliability both with the engine and the chassis. We hope that the upcoming races will play more to our strengths.”