05/12/2019

Renault F1 team season news

The Renault Formula One Team came through a tough Brazilian Grand Prix to achieve one of its best results in 2019…
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Daniel Ricciardo overcame accident damage to his R.S.19 and a five-second time penalty to take sixth overall.

The result looks to have secured the Australian a top-ten position in the final championship standings in his debut season with Renault.

He is now ninth in the Drivers’ table and eight points clear of closest challenger, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, in tenth with just one race to go – the Abu Dhabi GP at the Yas Marina circuit on 1 December.

Ricciardo had been involved in a tangle with Haas’s Kevin Magnussen early on – an incident that forced to make a pit stop so the Renault F1 crew could change his R.S.19’s front wing section.

Even though this work was swiftly executed, the unplanned stop dropped Ricciardo to 20th and last but during the next 40 laps or so he was able to fight back towards the fringes of the top ten.

He then took advantage of two late safety car periods to make up more places and cross the line in seventh – this becoming sixth when Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton received a time penalty post-race.

It was the second race in a row that Ricciardo had finished sixth having achieved the same result in the previous race in Texas, USA. There, team-mate Nico Hülkenberg had also been in the points with a ninth place result.

The pair had also both been inside the all-important top ten a week earlier in the Mexican GP, Ricciardo finishing eighth and Hülkenberg tenth.

In his penultimate outing for the squad in Brazil, however, Hülkenberg missed out on more points – he crossed the line in 12th but was demoted to 15th for an infringement during a safety car period.

It all means that the Renault team is fifth in the Constructors’ standings but a strong showing in the Abu Dhabi will be needed to make certain of the position.

Ricciardo commented: “After the early incident, I would have said ‘no way we could finish seventh’, so I’m quite happy with that.

“I take responsibility for the incident with Kevin. It was close, but I went into him and he spun. Sometimes you can do that and it works, but sometimes you touch wheels.

“In that situation you think the race is over, but we kept our heads down and managed a really strong race. The safety car restarts were fun and it was good out there. There’s one more to go now and I’m excited for that.”

Tem Principal Cyril Abiteboul hinted at what might have been had it not been for Ricciardo’s early altercation, even though both drivers started the race from outside the top ten and the Interlagos circuit is not best suited to the R.S.19.

He said: “After a difficult start on medium tyres both our drivers were pitched against cars on soft tyres. The collision with Magnussen and the ensuing penalty effectively excluded Daniel from a race that could have been better for him, especially with a bit of patience at the beginning of the race.

“He nonetheless showed resilience even when racing in last place, right until the events at the end of the race that allowed him to climb back up the order.

“Unfortunately, these events also helped our rivals. We must absolutely avoid putting ourselves in this situation at the last race in Abu Dhabi.”

05/12/2019

News in brief...