The Renault Sport F1 Team made a positive start to their 2018 Formula One season Down Under at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit on Sunday.
Nico Hulkenberg who started the race from seventh place and that is where the German finished the race coming home just behind the Renault powered Red Bull of Max Verstappen and just ahead of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas.
Speaking following the race, Hulk commented by saying:
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 who started the race from ninth place, battled a sick stomach throughout the race due to the water in his drinks bottle making him feel unwell during the course of 58 lap race.
The Spaniard who started his first full season with the Enstone outfit having moved from Toro Rosso midway through last season to replace Jolyon Palmer started Sunday’s race from ninth place and finished the event in 10th place scoring a valuable point for the team.
Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
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 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.
Renault Sport F1 Team Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul reflected on the double points finish by saying:
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.