Renault Sport Formula One Team made a welcome return to the points as Carlos Sainz finished a fast-paced Heineken Italian Grand Prix in ninth place*. Nico Hülkenberg fell short of the top ten after a battling effort from last place on the grid.
Carlos made a clean getaway from seventh on the grid and moved up to sixth place by the end of lap one. Running long on the Supersoft tyre, he pitted on lap 39, before easing to the flag for his first top ten finish since Hungary.
• Carlos started from P7 on used Pirelli Supersoft (red) tyres, pitting on lap 39 for a new set of Soft (yellow) tyres.
• Nico started from P20 on new Supersoft tyres, pitting at the end of lap one for a new set of Soft tyres and again on lap 41 for a new set of Supersofts.
*classified in eighth following Grosjean’s exclusion from the results.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-04: Started P20, classified P13.
“It’s always difficult when you start at the back of the grid, but I’m pleased with today. We gave it a real go to get into the points by going long on the Soft tyre after an early stop, but we fell short and had to bail out of it in the end. The tyre wear was too high after doing 40 laps, so that didn’t quite pay off in the end. I’m happy to have had a clean race and see the chequered flag. It’s difficult to make progress here, but we can draw the positives from the weekend and head into Singapore feeling a little more encouraged.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03: Started P7, classified P8.
"We can be happy with the weekend in general. We gave it all we had today. We’ve managed to take four points from a weekend where we expected difficulties, so we can be happy with that. The pace was as good as it could be, but we missed a little on the straights and lost a few positions in that area. On the positive side, we’ve made good progress since Spa and I felt much better in the car. Now we look forward to Singapore where we hope to be more competitive.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal:
“It was a challenging weekend, as we expected in Monza, with a mix of good moments and frustrations. We had a strong qualifying, with a great team performance and in particular from Carlos. We did not, however, have a race that rewarded that qualifying position. It was reflective of our pace at this power-dominated track where we could not contain the Force Indias. Nico tried to do something that could have allowed him to come back into the points but it did not work. We did all the right things today and would have loved to have come back stronger but let’s look forward to Singapore, which we hope should suit us better.”