Nico Hülkenberg maintained Renault Sport’s encouraging start to the new Formula One season with a sixth place in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Enstone team-mate Carlos Sainz could only finish 11th after getting stuck in the midfield battle.
We got the maximum from the race, which is a good positiveNico Hülkenberg
Hulkenberg lost one place at the start but came home solidly in the points for the second consecutive race.
Hülkenberg said: “We got the maximum from the race, which is a good positive. We didn’t quite have the pace to compete with the cars ahead of us and that leaves me a little disappointed, so it’s clear the midfield fight is very close.
“It was a busy race and our main focus was fuel saving whilst still trying to race other cars and I think we managed that quite well.”
Sainz said: “I was surviving in the end there with very tired soft tyres and having to do a lot of fuel saving. We need to analyse what happened at the start because I had too much wheel spin and from there onwards the race was compromised.
“I was stuck in traffic after both stops and we couldn’t really do a lot from there. It was a tough day to be honest but luckily China is just around the corner and we will fight our way back to the points.”
Managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: “It was an action-packed race that nevertheless saw us score a fine result with Nico who put in a great drive on a track that is difficult for us.
“Carlos’ poor start penalised his race, which proved, once again, that every detail counts. Carlos finished just outside the points, which is disappointing, but he did the best he could with fuel management that became very complicated in his race to move back up the order.
“We had good pace in qualifying and the performance level of the car should see us qualify higher on the grid and thus have easier races. Sixth place keeps us in a good place in the constructors’ championship with a points total in-line with our objectives.”