Managing Director of the Renault Sport Formula One Team Cyril Abiteboul has said that his team has done a “remarkable job” with new recruit Carlos Sainz Jr. just two weeks after the Spaniard joined from Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Sainz has been loaned to the Enstone team until the end of the 2018 season at the very least to replace the outgoing Jolyon Palmer, whilst his parent team Red Bull Racing wait for a seat to appear.
On his first outing for the French marque, Sainz managed seventh place at the United Sates Grand Prix ensuring that the team close the gap further to Sainz’ old employers Toro Rosso in the Constructors’ Standings.
Abiteboul was quick to sign the praises of the “error-free” Sainz, but did admit that the weekend came with a considerable regret given Nico Hülkenberg’s early retirement.
“It was a mixed weekend for the team.” Abiteboul said.
“On one hand, Carlos made a fanfare debut with an error-free weekend. He arrived extremely motivated and well prepared in a team that was equally ready.”
“We’ve done a remarkable job together since the announcement of his arrival at the Japanese Grand Prix. He drove an aggressive but intelligent race. Despite losing a few positions at the start, he was able to bounce back with brilliant driving skills.”
Hülkenberg saw his afternoon end on lap 4 with a drop in oil pressure, leaving the German without a points finish since the Belgian Grand Prix. The result saw him cede his top 10 position in the World Championship to Williams Martini Racing‘s Felipe Massa.
“Reliability cost us dearly again with the penalties and retirement of Nico’s car due to an engine issue that is still under investigation.”
Although Abiteboul did point out the positive in making the early decision to retire and suggested that Hülkenberg could’ve challenged for points alongside Sainz.
“At first glance, his engine isn’t damaged. Nico would have been able to get the car into the points.”
We apologise to Nico, who is just as frustrated as we are. This weekend demonstrates we have everything we need to fight for points and to climb back in the Constructors’ Championship.”