Renault DP World F1 Team left empty-handed from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with Daniel Ricciardo eleventh and Esteban Ocon thirteenth in a largely uneventful Spanish Grand Prix.
After disappointment in not making Q3 in qualifying yesterday both Daniel and Esteban lined up outside of the top ten and began Sunday’s race on identical strategies, starting on the Medium tyre.
Despite a flying start, Daniel remained thirteenth by the end of lap one with Esteban dropping a place to sixteenth.
Both drivers were on a planned one-stop strategy and began gaining positions as those ahead started to pit a third of the way through the race.
Esteban passed Kimi Räikkönen and Kevin Magnussen on laps 20 and 28 with two slick overtakes at Turn 1.
The Frenchman pitted on lap 34 for new Soft tyres with Daniel in a lap later for the same compound.
It was a challenging second stint from there on, with blue flags for the leading trio of drivers meaning both Daniel and Esteban struggled to make any inroads towards the points paying positions. Daniel closed to within a second from tenth place and Esteban finished thirteenth.
Daniel Ricciardo, started P13, finished P11:
“It was tough today and certainly not where we want to be. At every race up until now, we’ve had at least one car in the points, so this is the first one without it. It was a pretty difficult race and making the one-stop work was difficult. Obviously, it’s a bit disappointing as we came here expecting much more, especially after two decent races last time out. We didn’t expect to have a difficult weekend, but it was very tight out there. We were close to the top ten in qualifying and in the race, so we’ll try and find out where we lost those couple of tenths and move on to the next race.”
Esteban Ocon, started P15, finished P13:
“There wasn’t much more we could have done today. As a team, we struggled for pace this weekend. The car didn’t behave how we wanted, and we lacked grip and balance. From the beginning of the weekend, we felt the car didn’t behave like at Silverstone, so we have more work to do in some of those areas. We have a week off to analyse it and come back stronger. I had a couple of fun battles on track today and made a few overtakes, so that’s one positive we can draw upon.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal:
“We concluded our first weekend of the year without scoring any points. This is not for a lack of effort or execution from the race team and I believe we extracted all we could from the car this weekend. Put simply, the car is not good enough at a track like this one. Barcelona is a good test when it comes to the aerodynamic efficiency of the car, so it says something about the areas we have to improve. We’ve made some steps in the winter, but not enough to be on the leading side of the midfield here. It’s all very tight; two tenths yesterday in qualifying made a big difference and, again, it was tight today in the race. That’s not an excuse, though. We should be at a point where we could be doing better than that. We have a clear area of focus and we will be pushing to accelerate the next upgrades on the car.”