Renault Sport Formula One Team opened up its 2018 account with both Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz finishing in the top ten in today’s Australian Grand Prix.
Nico started from P7 on the grid and finished in that same position whilst Carlos started ninth and finished tenth. Both drivers ran to a one-stop strategy in a race where all the Renault-powered cars finished in the top ten.
• Nico started the race from P7 on his qualifying Ultrasoft (purple) Pirelli tyres, pitting from P6 to change to a set of new Soft tyres on lap 24, rejoining the race in P10.
• Carlos started the race from P9 on his qualifying Ultrasoft tyres pitting from P9 on lap 22 for a new set of Soft tyres, rejoining the race in P14.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02: Started P7, finished P7.
“We should be pretty happy with today. The pace of the car was strong and competitive, but we know we still have a lot of work to do. I’m happy with how the weekend has progressed, Friday wasn’t great for me, but we’ve turned it into a decent result and a satisfying Sunday. We got lucky with retirements, but also unlucky with the safety car, but that’s racing and taking six points home is a just reward for the team’s hard work.”
Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-01: Started P9, finished P10.
“It’s a positive start for the team and I’m very happy with the performance of the car. It’s a good job to take home a strong haul of points and we have something to build on ahead of Bahrain. Personally, I struggled a bit out there as I had a drinks bottle issue, the result of which was making me feel pretty unwell. The first stint was also a bit difficult with too much oversteer on the car, especially as there was a lot of wind out there today. We keep learning and we’ll be putting the work in ahead of Bahrain.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
“It’s a satisfying result, not perfect by any means, but it shows we’re in line with our targets of making progress. Clearly, for a good result, everything must be smooth, from pit-stops to reliability and this double top-ten finish illustrates a solid start to the season. We’re pleased with today and the result gives us something to build on. In the race, the safety car hurt us slightly, but that’s racing and sometimes these things benefit you. Our focus on reliability has been illustrated with all Renault-powered cars finishing inside the top ten today, which is a good positive. We know it’s going to be extra tight in the midfield battle, and that motivates us to keep working hard.”