Nico Hulkenberg says he was “very encouraged” by the improvements Renault made to its car in Monaco as the team targets points in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Renault has endured a difficult start to the season after finishing fourth in last year’s constructors’ championship, currently sitting eighth overall. Hulkenberg ended up 13th in Monaco following a collision with Charles Leclerc early in the race, but says the car’s performance level was much more impressive than the team’s final return of two points suggests.
“We left Monaco feeling disappointed as there was potential for a strong team result given our solid race pace in clean air,” Hulkenberg said. “We need to get back scoring regular points.
“After Monaco, I felt very encouraged by improvements made to the car but our competitiveness level was not illustrated by the results. Canada is our next opportunity to get our season back on track and we’ll be doing everything we can to return to the top 10.”
Teammate Daniel Ricciardo scored those two points in ninth place, but had been running fifth before a badly timed pit stop during the safety car period dropped him down the order.
“It was very frustrating to leave Monaco with just two points, as we should have been in the mix for a lot more,” Ricciardo said. “We missed an opportunity and we have to learn from that. Looking at the positives, the car felt good during qualifying and the race and I’m pleased with how we put the work in to progress through the weekend. We’ll look at what happened, push for improvements as best we can ahead of Canada and go there expecting to be in and amongst it.”
Renault’s chassis technical director Nick Chester added that the team will be boosted by further upgrades at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend.
“We have some aero and mechanical items coming through for Montreal,” Chester said. “Our main focus will be concentrating on getting every different element to work in harmony — the midfield is so tight now that we need to maximize the overall performance.”