Renault Sport Formula One Team enjoyed its best-ever qualifying performance thanks to a fantastic fifth from Carlos Sainz in challenging conditions at the Hungaroring. Carlos will start from the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s Formula 1 Rolex Magyar Nagydí after setting his fastest Q3 lap on Pirelli’s Wet tyres as the rain bore down on the 4.38km circuit. Nico Hülkenberg fell short of the top ten after a fuel bowser issue meant he had insufficient fuel to make the most of the drier track at the start of Q2, meaning he will start from P13.

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.18-02, Q: P13 1:36.506 FP3: P8, 1:18.083
“There was an issue with the fuel bowser which meant we didn’t have enough fuel in the car at the start of Q2, so we lost time when the track was at its best. Once it started raining hard it was pretty much game-over although we gave it a go with the Wet tyres, sadly to no avail. Timing is crucial in conditions like today so it’s a shame to have a small technical problem in the garage. It is hard to overtake here, but we have a strong car so I’m hopeful for a good race. A wet race would spice things up, but I’m approaching tomorrow open-minded; I want to make up places and score points.”

Carlos Sainz, #55, R.S.18-03, Q: P5 1:36.743 FP3: P7 1:17.754
“What an intense qualifying! I’m really happy with today’s performance and it is great when things come together! Only having the Mercedes and the Ferraris in front is a very good sign of how well we managed these conditions. We took a bit of a gamble staying out with the same set of tyres in Q3. This meant I was able to post a very strong time even if the tyre performance wasn’t there to improve with my final lap. I was really happy when I saw P3 on the board, and P5 at the end of the session is a pretty good feeling too. Points however are given out tomorrow. Tyre strategy and the start will be specially important but I’m confident we can have a strong race.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director
Sessions like today’s are never easy…

How was qualifying today?
Sessions like today’s are never easy. The team and Carlos did a great job in a very challenging Q3 where Carlos drove extremely well for our best qualifying performance to date. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the fuel bowser on Nico’s car at the start of Q2 which meant he couldn’t get a lap in when the track was at its driest. He tried with the Wet tyres, but the track was simply too wet to be able to go faster later in the session.

It’s been quite a variable weekend so far; what are the considerations for the race?
Everyone has a free starting tyre choice so it opens up the options. The weather forecast does predict a dry race but there’s still a chance of the heavens opening again so there’s potential for an eventful race. We’ll be looking to maximise every opportunity.