25/11/2015

Abu Dhabi finale awaits Renaultsport F1 teams after points and power unit upgrade in American races

Renaultsport will be looking to end its FIA Formula 1 season on a high in this coming weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after strong points finishes in the penultimate two rounds of the year in Mexico and Brazil.
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It has been Red Bull’s Russian driver Daniil Kvyat who has led the way in both those races with fourth and then sixth place results.

In Mexico Kvyat was followed home by team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in fifth as both took on the Williams and Ferrari cars in a straight fight for a podium result. Australian Ricciardo was out of the points in Brazil, however, as he worked his way through the pack after being given a grid penalty – the consequence of Renaultsport installing his car with its latest, upgraded power unit that is set to be used again in Abu Dhabi.

Mexico also resulted in 100 per cent reliability for Renaultsport with both Toro Rossos, driven by Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, finishing. Dutchman Verstappen was ninth and Sainz 13th…

Brazil then saw Verstappen achieve his sixth points finish in a row in F1 as he took tenth place, although Sainz was unable to make an impact as his car stopped shortly after the start. Both youngsters have produced some of the season’s exciting moments and Verstappen did it again on Brazil’s Interlagos circuit with breathtaking round-the-outside moves on Force India’s Sergio Perez and Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado.

Arriving in Abu Dhabi, Kvyat is seventh in the drivers’ standings – 23 points behind sixth-placed Felipe Massa with 25 awarded for a win. Ten points (equivalent to a fifth-place result) behind him in seventh is team-mate Ricciardo.

Meanwhile Verstappen, currently 12th in the points table, is in with a realistic chance of finishing the season inside the top ten – he is just three points adrift of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in tenth. If Verstappen and Sainz can between them score ten points in Abu Dhabi then their team could yet beat Lotus to sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Abu Dhabi has fond memories for Renault. It won the inaugural Grand Prix there in 2009 with Red Bull and driver Sebastien Vettel and again in 2010 – a result that combined clinched them both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles. Another victory followed in 2013, again with Red Bull and Vettel.