Abiteboul salutes Hülkenberg’s drive

Nico Hulkenberg on his way to fifth place in Sunday's German Grand Prix
Nico Hulkenberg on his way to fifth place in Sunday's German Grand Prix

Renault Sport F1 Team boss Cyril Abiteboul saluted Nico Hülkenberg after he delivered a stellar drive in Sunday’s Emirates German Grand Prix.

Hülkenberg drove a measured race at Hockenheim, one which started dry but was visited by repeated rain showers to finish in fifth position. That was his best result for the Enstone team.

There are ten races to go which means ten more tight and exciting battles for everyone

Renault Sport F1 Team boss Cyril Abiteboul

Carlos Sainz was on the brink of the top ten battle at the end of the race but was given a ten-second time penalty, dropping him to 12th position. The team remains in fourth place in the FIA Constructors’ Championship with an increased margin from its nearest competitors.

Abiteboul said: “It was a very eventful race in front of an amazing crowd. It probably gave extra focus and motivation for Nico and that’s what he showed.

“It would have been easy to make a mistake on the track, or make the wrong tyre call in the uncertain conditions. We have the feeling that Carlos could have joined the party as well with a good start, good pace and similar stops, but it just did not go his way.

“It’s a race which again showed it’s very tight between us, McLaren, Force India and Haas. There are ten races to go which means ten more tight and exciting battles for everyone.”

Hülkenberg said: “It was tricky out there trying to keep it on the road but I enjoy those conditions and started to make some gains. It’s good points for the team, our joint best finish of the season and my best finish with Renault.

“More crazy conditions would have been nice, but we’ll take that. We made the right decisions and that’s why we deserve fifth.”

Sainz said: “It was a difficult race for me in the end. We made a good start off the line, but then I got squeezed and lost a little bit of momentum.

“The race settled after that and we were looking in a good position to score points before rain made the track quite slippery and difficult.”