Renault: Stressful showdowns must not happen again

Renault must avoid putting itself in the situation in the future where so much is at stake in the final race of the season, claims its Formula 1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul.

Renault: Stressful showdowns must not happen again
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault F1 Team RS17
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault F1 Team RS17, retires
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 sparks
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team and Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team at the Renault Team photo
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 retires
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Listen to this article

The French car manufacturer was in celebratory mood after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Nico Hulkenberg's sixth-place finish was enough for it to secure sixth spot in the constructors' championship – and scoop a $6.5 million bonus.

Speaking after the race, Abiteboul was delighted to have pulled the result off, but thought the stress of such a last-gasp performance needed to be steered clear of in the future.

"It is okay now, but the message is that we must avoid putting ourselves in such a position again," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

"It can be a very stylish way to finish the season, but we need to have a programme that is allowing us to secure what needs to be secured before that."

Hulkenberg controversy

The foundations for Hulkenberg to deliver the points needed came on the opening lap, when he managed to get past Force India's Sergio Perez after running off the track.

Having not given the position back, Hulkenberg was handed a five-second time penalty, but with the benefit of track position he was able to build such a margin that the punishment did not hurt him.

Abiteboul defended Hulkenberg not giving the place back, suggesting that Renault had not instructed him to do so because it had not been able to see the incident on television.

"We didn't have access to the footage and actually the replay was late coming," he said. "When the replay came it was already too late to give back position, and I think it was already in the hands of the stewards – and that was five seconds.

"From that point onwards it was all about building the gap in order for the pit stops to happen and not lose track position, which we did – by changing what was scheduled.

"We cannot say it didn't have any impact on us: it had some impact. We had to take more risk and you know how much we have to balance risk and reliability, and that worked in the pitstops. For me, I don't see any problem with that."

Pushed on Hulkenberg gaining an unfair advantage because of keeping track position, Abiteboul said: "There are regulations. There are stewards. They made a decision. There was a penalty. We served the penalty. Full stop.

"What else can I do? I am not going to make it worse for our team, given how tight it was. So no further comment on that."

Alarms

Abiteboul also said that Renault had had to be quite 'extreme' in its settings this weekend to make sure that its points target was not wrecked by reliability problems.

"For the last 20 or 25 laps, it was all about tyres, fuel management energy and preserving engine," he said, when asked about radio messages suggesting alarms were going off in the car.

"When you do that, you start to enter into an operating envelope that is not very usual. We have been very extreme this weekend, we have been very extreme in the way we were preserving the engine and all of that, thanks to the huge team effort of Viry and Enstone."

shares
comments

The past omens that could haunt Hamilton in 2018

Kubica hits track in crucial Williams test

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore The critical car launch element F1 teams are foolish to ignore

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Williams launch
Alex Kalinauckas

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Throwback: The 1987 Lotus 99T The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The story of Ken Tyrrell's team How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate