Formula 1
Formula 1
11 Jun
-
14 Jun
FP1 in
77 days
25 Jun
-
28 Jun
FP1 in
91 days
02 Jul
-
05 Jul
FP1 in
98 days
16 Jul
-
19 Jul
FP1 in
112 days
R
Hungarian GP
30 Jul
-
02 Aug
FP1 in
126 days
27 Aug
-
30 Aug
FP1 in
154 days
03 Sep
-
06 Sep
FP1 in
161 days
R
Singapore GP
17 Sep
-
20 Sep
FP1 in
175 days
24 Sep
-
27 Sep
FP1 in
182 days
R
United States GP
22 Oct
-
25 Oct
FP1 in
210 days
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
FP1 in
218 days
R
Brazilian GP
12 Nov
-
15 Nov
FP1 in
231 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
26 Nov
-
29 Nov
FP1 in
245 days

Renault knew Haas gap would vanish like "ice cube in the sun"

shares
comments
Renault knew Haas gap would vanish like "ice cube in the sun"
By:
Aug 27, 2018, 3:56 PM

Renault Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul says the team always expected its gap to Haas to vanish like "an ice cube in the sun".

Over the last six races, Renault has scored 26 points to Haas’s 57, and the two teams now stand on 82 and 76 respectively in their battle for fourth place.

The Enstone team endured one of its worst weekends of the season in Belgium, with both drivers going to the back of the grid after power unit changes, and neither scoring points.

Nico Hulkenberg crashed at the first corner, while teammate Carlos Sainz struggled home in 11th place. It was only the second time in 2018 that the team failed to score.

“Frankly we were assuming that this gap would disappear like an ice cube in the sun,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

“We knew since day one that Haas is very competitive, and actually it’s quite the opposite, we are lucky that we are still ahead. It gives us the opportunity to keep on defending until Abu Dhabi.

“We know that we have another challenging track in Monza, but let’s see. We have quite a lot to come in terms of development on the chassis, but I expect the predominant factor is going to be engine competitiveness.”

Abiteboul admitted that Spa was always going to be a tough weekend, made worse after a poor qualifying saw Sainz take an engine penalty and join Hulkenberg at the back of the grid.

“We decided to focus all the grid penalties that we needed, and hopefully there won’t be any more to come, and there will be more straightforward races in the next eight rounds.

"It was scheduled [for Spa] for Nico, it was scheduled for Monza for Carlos, but because of what happened in qualifying, which is still not explained, we decided to do that here, and now so it’s out of the way."

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18 and Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18 and Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

Abiteboul insisted the first-corner mistake was not typical for Hulkenberg, who was given a 10-place grid penalty for Monza.

“I think he accepts that it has been a misjudgement from his side, coming also from the fact that when you are starting from so far back – the fact that he simply braked too late and it didn’t work out, also the fact that he was very light on downforce.

"FP3 didn’t really work as planned and he had not enough running in qualifying.

“So all of that sort of led to a wrong judgement from his side. But he’s not this type of driver, we all know that he’s extremely focussed, and we’re sure he will learn from that mistake.”

Sainz took a gamble by starting on medium tyres, but it didn’t pay off.

“I think Carlos has made the most of today’s circumstances," Abiteboul said. "It was very challenging, to start from so far.

"We tried something with the tyres which didn’t work, also on the basis of the early safety car caused by ourselves, his teammate, which didn’t help – so it’s a bit ironic! These things happen.”

Next article
End of discussion? Halo faces first real world F1 test at Spa

Previous article

End of discussion? Halo faces first real world F1 test at Spa

Next article

Gasly: Start tyre choice kept me out of Spa pile-up

Gasly: Start tyre choice kept me out of Spa pile-up
Load comments