Renault wants to use this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix to get over the frustration of a double retirement in Germany as it slipped to sixth in the constructors’ championship.
Daniel Ricciardo retired early on with an exhaust issue before Nico Hulkenberg crashed out of fourth place in wet conditions at Hockenheim (pictured), in a chaotic race that saw Daniil Kvyat finish on the podium. That result — coupled with Alexander Albon’s sixth place — enabled Toro Rosso to move ahead of Renault into fifth in the constructors’ standings and managing director Cyril Abiteboul admits Germany was a big missed opportunity for his team.
“We left Hockenheim with a bitter taste as, in exceptional races like Sunday’s, you can really pick up some big points,” Abiteboul said. “We have another chance in Hungary to demonstrate what we can do, and I know both drivers are motivated to deliver on the potential.
“We continue to be focused on our objective to build a more competitive car. We had a small taste of what it feels like to be up at the front on merit and this is just the motivation we need heading towards the summer break. The championship is open and, quite clearly, we need to score good points in Hungary to stay in the race.”
Hulkenberg echoed Abiteboul’s comments, having looked in the frame to score the first podium of his Formula 1 career at his home race before sliding off at the penultimate corner.
“It was a bitter one and I’m very disappointed for the team and myself,” Hulkenberg said. “We were doing a very good job in difficult conditions. It hurts, but we have the opportunity for an immediate comeback this weekend in Hungary. I’m determined as ever for a strong result.”
While the immediate focus is on a result in Hungary, chassis technical director Nick Chester revealed there will be another big push from Renault after the summer break in terms of car development as it chases fourth-placed McLaren.
“Everyone is tired after an intensive start to the season, but the break will be a chance to recharge the batteries and focus on a significant program of upgrades we plan to introduce in the second part of the year,” Chester said.