Drivers Carlos Sainz and Nico Hülkenberg were able to bounce back from a disappointing Belgian GP to deliver the team’s fourth double points finish of the season in the most recent race on the spectacular floodlit Singapore street circuit.
Sainz rose from 12th on the grid to finish an excellent eighth while Hülkenberg qualified and finished in tenth.
The result leaves Renault 15 points clear of fifth-placed Haas-Ferrari in the constructors’ standings with six GPs now left to go. Hülkenberg stays seventh in the drivers’ table, just ahead of Renault’s former double F1 champion Fernando Alonso (now driving for the Renault-powered McLaren team) while Sainz is 12th, just eight points shy of the top ten.
Next up is this weekend’s Russian race in Sochi (another street circuit). As soon as it finishes the team will swiftly be on its way to the airport for a 4500 mile flight to Kuala Lumpur for the following weekend’s Malaysian GP (5-7 Oct).
A fortnight later the team’s R.S.18 will be in action another 10,000 miles away in the USA GP at Austin, Texas before a relatively short 1000 mile sprint south to Mexico City for round 19 of 21. After that come the season closing races in Brazil (Interlagos, 9-11 Nov) and Abu Dhabi (23-25 Nov).
After the Singapore race, Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “Overall, we’re satisfied with this evening’s race as both cars finished in the points. We didn’t qualify as well as we could have yesterday so we needed a strong performance today and both drivers and the engineers on the pit wall delivered what was required.
“After a poor start, Nico drove sensibly with his head to return to the points, making the most of an undercut on (Romain) Grosjean followed by a very long stint on the Ultrasoft tyres.
“On his side, after a good start, Carlos drove smartly, attacking when it mattered and controlling when necessary for his eighth place.
“Five points is a useful benefit to our battle in the Constructors’ Championship, as we know it will be very tight in the next six rounds.”
Abiteboul also touched on a new C-spec engine that Renault Sport has developed used only by another of its customer teams, Red Bull Racing, in Singapore.
He added: “On a broader note, we saw Red Bull and Max Verstappen on the front row and finishing second for the second time this season, which is a good reward for the C-spec engine, demonstrating our progress on that front.
“But, on the power unit, like on every other area of the car, we can measure this weekend once again by the work we have ahead of us.”