Renault Sport Formula One Team principal Cyril Abiteboul called the Japanese Grand Prix as “an important result for the team” as Carlos Sainz Jr. finished tenth to give the team a precious point in their fight for fourth place in the constructors championship.
The result at the Suzuka International Racing Course shows the team can bounce back after a disappointing result in Russia and that the race pace of the Renault is strong at power dependent circuits.
“Today is an important result for the team.
“After Sochi, it is further evidence that our race pace is competitive at this stage of our development.
“We’ve also shown that the Power Unit is capable of doing great things in race conditions at high-power sensitive circuits, like Suzuka, with Red Bull Racing fighting for second place in these track conditions.”
Sainz drove a great race to score a point while Nico Hülkenberg was forced to retire midway through the race but Abiteboul pinpointed qualifying as Renault’s downfall and knows they must improve on a Saturday in the final four races.
“Carlos drove strongly throughout and never relented for that final point, whilst Nico unfortunately had to retire.
“It’s clear what needs to be fixed and that’s improving our qualifying pace.
“We’ve seen that small differences can play a huge role in starting between seventh or fourteenth.
“We absolutely need to get on top of this and get the car back where it belongs at circuits which should be better for us.”
Next week, the F1 paddock heads to Austin, Texas for the US Grand Prix. Renault are currently locked in a tight midfield battle with Haas, Force India, Toro Rosso, and to an extent, McLaren. Can the French outfit emerge as the best of the rest?