Renault Sport Formula One Team today secured its best-ever qualifying finish since its full return to the sport 18 months ago.

Nico Hülkenberg put the R.S.17 into a superb sixth position in the rain-affected session for the British Grand Prix, his fifth Q3 entrance* and best qualifying since joining Renault Sport Formula One Team at the start of the year. After penalties further up the field, Nico will start fifth.

Rounding off a strong day for the team, which marks the 40th anniversary of its first F1 race this weekend, Jolyon Palmer qualified in 11th. The Brit advanced to Q2 for the third time this season with a lap of 1min 30.193secs round his home track.

* After China, Bahrain, Russia, Canada

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04, Q: P6 1:28.856 FP3: P5 1:29.480
“Today we had a very successful qualifying and will start the race just behind the top teams. I had a good rhythm and we had good times. The team made the right calls for the right track conditions; there was a nice flow. I was feeling calm and confident with the car so I was able to produce a good lap. The upgrades we brought here this weekend seemed to also have played their part in our step forward. That said, tomorrow’s race is the true test. Let’s try and have a clean race. We’ll push very hard and I’ll be very happy to bring points home.”

Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-01, Q: P11 1:30.193 FP3: P14 1:30.302
“I had a really good feeling with the car today and I’m happy with that result. We could maybe have made up one tenth or so, but we’re starting in a much better place than we have done in recent races so I hope we can make progress and score some points tomorrow. I’m pretty confident that we can have a good race. The atmosphere all weekend has been awesome with so many Union Jacks in the stands – I’m loving the support. It’s good motivation and driving the track with these cars is so much fun at the moment.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director
A great job by the team

Nico’s sixth place is the team’s best qualifying result of the season so far. How does that feel ?
We are of course very happy with the result today. The aero updates used this weekend for the first time worked well and Jolyon just missed out on Q3 by the narrowest of margins. Nico is well placed for the race and Jo has a free tyre choice so we’re looking forward to the start and converting the result today to points tomorrow.

How difficult was it with the weather out there today ?
The rain came just before the start of the session so it was not an easy one to manage. We were really pleased that we got through Q1 when it was evolving quickly, and then carried this momentum through to the next two sessions. Both drivers and the team did a great job in very changeable, difficult conditions.