Renault Sport Formula One Team recorded its sixth double-points finish of the season after Carlos Sainz‘s eighth place and Nico Hulkenberg‘s tenth place finish in the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Both drivers made clean starts with Carlos passing Nico into turn one then holding that position in the early running. Carlos – on his 75th Grand Prix start – enjoyed a quiet race from there, running a long first stint on the Ultrasoft tyre, before comfortably finishing in eighth for the second time in as many races.
After starting on the Hypersoft tyre, Nico – on his 150th start – pitted early and ran long on the Ultrasofts, driving a smart and calculated race to the flag for his first points finish since the German Grand Prix. Five points means the team extend their lead in fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship to 15 points over fifth place.
Nico started from P10 on used Pirelli Hypersoft (pink) tyres, pitting on lap 15 for a new set of Ultrasoft (purple) tyres. Carlos started from P12 on new Ultrasoft tyres, pitting on lap 37 for a new set of Soft (yellow) tyres.
Nico Hulkenberg: “I’m not quite happy with the result, as I know it could have been better. I lost two positions at the start and from there we were on the back foot, which was costly. We pitted early, going for an aggressive undercut and that initially played out well, but we were caught up in traffic after that. I benefitted from the collision in front of me to get into the points, but it could have been more today, so it’s mixed feelings for me in the end.”
Carlos Sainz: “I’m very satisfied with the result today. I wasn’t happy yesterday, but I woke up knowing we had a really good chance in the race. We had an advantage with tyre strategy starting in twelfth and we made a good start to boost our possibility of getting into the top ten. Eighth isn’t bad for today, but I would have preferred to finish higher up the order. Five points for the team are important for the championship and we keep distance to our rivals. In general, I’m happy with today as we executed a good race.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: “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 Grosjean followed by a very long stint on the Ultrasofts. 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. 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 the work we have ahead of us.”