The Renault Sport Formula One team ended the 2018 Formula One season as best of the rest in the Constructors championship behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
The Enstone outfit had a strong season and in Abu Dhabi on Sunday they were on for a what would have been a double points finish. On the opening lap of the race however, the Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean made contact with Nico Hulkenberg, sending the German’s Renault into a flip.
Hulk’s car landed upside down with the German trapped in the car for three minutes. Despite the accident, Hulkenberg was uninjured and speaking following the race he said:
It was frustrating to be out of the race so early today and ultimately to finish the season this way having worked so hard with the team all weekend. It looks spectacular when cars flip but luckily it wasn’t a high impact crash. It was a racing incident; I didn’t see Grosjean – I thought that he went off the track and I took the apex, but the tyres touched and I flipped to go upside down. Overall it has been a good positive season for us with strong points. The team got fourth today in the Constructors’ Championship and I got seventh in the Drivers’; on paper, the best season in my career. I am very pleased about the progress we have made this season. It’s been great working with Carlos, he’s been an excellent team-mate. I’ve enjoyed the season a lot and look forward to an even better one next year, also with Daniel joining the team. It will be very exciting.
In his final race for the Enstone outfit before joining McLaren on Tuesday, Spain’s Carlos Sainz had a fantastic race.
Starting the 55 lap event from eleventh on the grid, Sainz made a great getaway and took advantage of a great strategy to come home in sixth place. Carlos will test for McLaren in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as he prepares for the 2019 season with the Woking based outfit.
Speaking following the race, the Spaniard said:
oday was a really great result for us and this sixth place feels a bit like pay back for France and Mexico. We deserve it! I had a very strong pace all the way and it was a perfectly executed race. We achieved fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and it is a very big result for us. This last race of the season firmly demonstrates all the progress made this year. I leave this team feeling very happy with what we’ve achieved and as a driver it makes me especially motivated. This was my last race with the Renault team and I thank everyone for the last year and a half. I’m not leaving the family and look forward to continue to see many of my Renault colleagues as I join McLaren.
The Renault Sport F1 Team finished the 2018 Formula One season in fourth place in the Constructors championship on 122 points and speaking following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul commented by saying:
“It’s a great way to finish the season. P4 is where we wanted to be in the championship; it’s a good result and a representation of the fantastic team effort on and off track and from both drivers. The race today is a good summary of our year. We had a disappointing qualifying and difficult first laps, but the team kept its head down and made excellent strategic choices in a race that went in our direction. We were able to take advantage of very strong race pace and managed the lead we had against the others to make sure we got to the end without any incidents. Obviously it was a shame to lose Nico early on, but he’s been a huge contributing element to the season result that we secured today. I’d also like to thank Carlos for all he has done for the team since joining us. He’s been a massive team player and wish him all the best as he joins our partner McLaren next year.”