Abiteboul insists strategy choice made Renault look weaker

15-04-2019 12:38
by Matt Gretton
General
Abiteboul insists strategy choice made Renault look weaker

Daniel Ricciardo scored his first Formula 1 points for Renault during Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix, but the team looked miles behind where they want to be.

Pierre Gasly, Ricciardo's nearest challenger, had enough time to pit and comfortably regain the same place for one last push for the fastest lap point. Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg retired for the second time in two races.

Ricciardo's fastest lap was the 16th fastest out of everyone, but Cyril Abiteboul believes this lack of pace was due to the one-stop strategy the Australian was on.

"I think it was a more solid performance than it looks. It was extremely challenging to make the one-stop work, starting on the soft compound. We had to face the usual dilemma of starting from P7 to P10 with our kind of pace, and having to start on the softest compound, and still make it work," Abiteboul told motorsport.com.

"We knew that anyone from P11 onwards would be starting on the medium, and the top five would be starting on the medium, there was no point in trying to do some crazy stuff just trying to look for Gasly at this point in time. That P7 was the target, and we achieved that."

"Even myself I didn't want a one-stop because of that reason, because I knew that our pace would look miserable. But it was very clear from our strategists that a two-stop would not work for us, so we had to make the one-stop work, and it worked."

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