Renault Sport Formula Team’s Nico Hülkenberg delivered a stellar performance in a wet-weather affected Emirates Grosser Preis von Deutschland.
Nico drove a measured race in a Grand Prix which started dry but was visited by repeated rain showers to finish in fifth position – his best result for the team. Carlos Sainz was on the brink of the top ten battle at the end of the race, however was given a ten-second time penalty, dropping him to twelfth positon in the results. The team remains in fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship, with an increased margin from its nearest competitors.
• Carlos started from P8 on scrubbed Pirelli Ultrasoft tyres, pitting on lap 20 for a new set of Medium tyres, lap 50 for a new set of Intermediates, then lap 56 for scrubbed Ultrasofts.
• Nico started from P7 on scrubbed Ultrasofts, stopping on lap 18 for new Mediums, lap 51 for Intermediates, then lap 55 for scrubbed Ultrasofts.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02: Started P7, finished P5.
“I’m very happy with that. The first part of the race wasn’t so exciting, but it was unfolding nicely towards the end, then the rain hit us. It was tricky out there trying to keep it on the road, but I enjoy those conditions and started to make some gains. It’s good points for the team, our joint best finish of the season and my best finish with Renault. More crazy conditions would have been nice, but we’ll take that. We made the right decisions and that’s why we deserve fifth today. We’ve been working hard for it, so it’s a nice reward for the team. We did a good job today.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03: Started P8, finished P12 (after penalty).
“It was a difficult race for me in the end. We made a good start off the line, but then I got squeezed and lost a little bit of momentum. The race settled after that and we were looking in a good position to score points before rain made the track quite slippery and difficult. Unfortunately, I stopped for Intermediate tyres the lap before Vettel crashed, so we were slightly unlucky with the timing. We finished in the top ten, but the penalty ended our chances of securing points, which is disappointing and we’ll look at what happened there.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal:
“It was a very eventful race in front of an amazing crowd here at Hockenheim. It probably gave extra focus and motivation for Nico and that’s what he showed today. It would have been easy to make a mistake on the track, or make the wrong tyre call in the uncertain conditions. He, Mark Slade his engineer, and the whole team did an excellent job of staying on top of the conditions and making the right calls and execute them properly. We have the feeling that Carlos could have joined the party where Nico was as well with a good start, good pace and similar stops, but it just did not go his way. He also lost two positions with the 10-second penalty post-race. We need to better understand what happened there as it was a very busy race. It’s a race which again showed it’s very tight between us, McLaren, Force India and Haas. There are ten more races to go, which means ten more tight and exciting battles for everyone.”