Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul says Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ run of success must serve as inspiration for Renault as it looks to challenge for titles.
Hamilton secured his fifth drivers’ championship at the Mexican Grand Prix, with four of those coming for Mercedes as the team has won every constructors’ title since 2014. Renault has been investing heavily in its team and strengthened its hold on fourth in the constructors’ standings with Nico Hulkenberg’s run on Sunday, and while pleased with recent results, Abiteboul cites Mercedes as the standard for his team to aspire to.
“[Mexico] saw a strong result for us in the championship battle with Nico driving an intelligent race to sixth position,” Abiteboul said. “We also saw a Renault-powered car on the top step of the podium after a fine performance from Red Bull.
“All weekend we were able to show good pace in Mexico and that echoed our performance in Austin;this illustrates that our team continues to push hard right till the end. It was a very frustrating retirement for Carlos [Sainz] and everyone in the team. He was doing a fabulous job and would have also scored a good haul of points.
“Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on his fifth World Championship title. He and Mercedes set the bar very high and that must be an inspiration for the future. There are two races left in 2018 and we are aiming for a strong finish to our season.”
Hulkenberg has finished sixth in each of the last two races, but he says his result in Mexico fell into his lap after Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo retired.
“It’s positive, I feel like I didn’t really have to work so much for it!” Hulkenberg said. “It just happened. I had a poor start, lost a position to Carlos and from there on it was really just managing tires in formation. Unfortunately he retired, so that’s a big shame.
“Then it was just about making sure the one-stop worked, saving the supersoft as much as possible early on but I always had a comfortable gap to [Charles] Leclerc behind me, so it was fairly steady and straightforward.”