Renault see positives despite difficult Singapore GP
Renault were encouraged by their performance in the Singapore Grand Prix despite having a difficult weekend at the Maria Bay circuit.
Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg were both impressive in qualifying with Ricciardo ending up eighth, one place ahead of his team-mate.
But Ricciardo was excluded from qualifying after the stewards ruled that his car’s energy recovery system had deployed too much power.
The Australian had to start at the back of the field as a result of the penalty, but had a great first stint, working his way up through the field before making contact with the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi.
That contact resulted in a puncture for Ricciardo and demoted the Renault driver back down the order, forcing him to fight his way back through the grid once again.
Ricciardo eventually crossed the line in 14th while his team-mate Hulkenberg also worked his way through the pack after an early puncture, following contact with Carlos Sainz Jr, to end up ninth.
While it was a frustrating race for both drivers, Renault Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul was happy that they had the pace to fight through the field on a high downforce circuit.
“There is obviously a sense of ‘what could have been’ today.” commented Abiteboul.
“After showing decent pace all weekend, in qualifying and during the race, two points for Nico seems a poor reward for both him and the team even if he was last after the first-lap contact with Carlos.
“Daniel’s comeback after his disqualification was remarkable on a track like this. Contact sent him back to square one.
“It was encouraging, however, to be back at this competitiveness level on a track which is very different from Spa and Monza.
Hulkenberg was also happy with his performance in the Singapore Grand Prix, but admitted that he got lucky with the safety car, which allowed him to pit for fresh tyres.
“After the contact on lap one it was always going to be [a] difficult [race], but we kept cool, patient and managed to take two points.” added Hulkenberg.
“We got a bit lucky with the first safety car, it ensured we could put the Mediums on and then make some progress.
“We did well to overtake – it’s so difficult here – so we can be pleased with that.”