Renault Sport Formula One Team equalled its highest result of the year so far as Nico Hülkenberg brought the R.S.17 home in sixth position in today’s British Grand Prix. Nico started from a season-best fifth and had a strong race to claim a valuable eight points for the team. Brit Jolyon Palmer had a disappointing end to his home Grand Prix as he stopped on the formation lap with a loss of hydraulic pressure.
Nico started the race from P5 on his qualifying Supersoft Pirelli tyres, changing to a new set of Soft tyres on lap 24. He lost a place to Valtteri Bottas in the opening laps but thereafter continued to pull away from both Force Indias. He looked set to claim fifth at the finish but a leak around the exhaust in the final laps of the race led to a gradual loss of the energy recovery system and allowed Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo to take the position. He pulled up just metres over the finish line as a precaution.
Jolyon started the race from P11 on a new set of Supersoft tyres. He reported a lack of hydraulic pressure on the formation lap and he pulled off the track, unable to make the start.
The team is now just seven points shy of sixth position in the Constructors’ standings.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04: Started P5, finished P6.
“We are very happy with the race result today. P6 is a big success for the team. We were able to get a good lap in qualifying and then to carry it through to the race. We had a strong race pace, and were able to keep ahead of both Force Indias, which is really positive. We lost some power at the end, especially down the straights, which made it easier for Daniel to pass me, but then we gained back a position from Seb [Vettel] when he had his problem. Overall this is a very positive result. The new upgrades worked really well, we were able to push the car and I’m really pleased for the team.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-01: Started P11, DNS.
“Going out at the start of the race is really frustrating. We had a hydraulic leak on the first lap, which is pretty gutting as I think we were in a good position. Eleventh with new tyres, a car that was working really well with lots of different options on strategy: all was looking good to get some points. I have had so much support all weekend that it would have been sweet to get them here. All the same we can see that the car has taken a step forward, but we just need to look at reliability now.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director
“We have to say sorry to Jo as he finally had the starting position he needed and we all wanted him to get those first points today. He almost certainly would have made it if we hadn’t had the problem. On the other hand we had a great race with Nico. He drove very well, with no mistakes, good strategy execution and we were a good thirty seconds ahead of both Force Indias. There is always a bit of frustration to be so exposed to reliability weaknesses as we could have done even better today, but what is important is that the upgrades have worked well and we are delighted to see this bear out in the results. With more to come in the coming races I hope we can keep the momentum going to end the first part of the season on a high.
“Scoring points is a good way to end our 40th anniversary weekend. While we can celebrate the past it’s also good to see our younger drivers doing well too. Congratulations to test driver Nicholas Latifi on scoring his first win in F2 and development driver Oliver Rowland getting a podium too. ”