Renault F1 Team faced bitter disappointment in the German Grand Prix with both Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo retiring from a chaotic and unpredictable, rain-affected race at Hockenheim.
After making a clean start and later gambling to stay on Intermediate tyres, Nico ran in second place for part of the race.
In tricky conditions, Nico comfortably occupied fourth spot heading into the final third of a frenetic race, which saw a total of six retirements.
But, after running wide at the final turn, he was unable to save his car from hitting the wall and retired as a result.
Daniel retired on lap 14 with an exhaust issue while running in twelfth.
• Nico started from ninth on Pirelli’s Wet (blue) tyres, pitting on lap three for Intermediates (green). He again stopped for Intermediates on lap 15 and 29 before retiring on lap 39.
• Daniel started from thirteenth on Wet tyres, pitting on lap three for Intermediates. He retired on lap 14.
Nico Hülkenberg, started P9, DNF:
It’s a tough one to take. I’m upset for myself, the team and for Renault because they deserved an excellent result today. It’s one of those days where you have to make it stick, and I’m just gutted with how it ended especially in front of the home crowd. The final corner was very tricky as it was damp. I lost the rear a bit, went into a spin so I opened the steering and went onto the black tarmac. It was like ice there and by that point I couldn’t stop the car. We were doing a phenomenal job, strategy was very difficult so it hurts and it will hurt even more tomorrow.
Daniel Ricciardo, started P13, DNF:
We had an exhaust failure today, which caused the retirement. I could see a lot of smoke coming out from the back of the car and that was our day done. It’s certainly a shame. I watched the rest of the race and it looked a lot of fun out there. I would have loved to have been racing as there were opportunities for big points. It’s disappointing but we’ll move on to next week. It’s a tough overall result for the team, but hopefully Hungary will be better for us.
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal:
It was an emotional rollercoaster today with highs and lows. Unfortunately, we’re finishing on a low with two retirements. Daniel’s was caused by an exhaust leak and we need to look into the problem, which is our first reliability glitch in a while. Nico had been driving an amazing race and was supported by decisions from the pit wall and good execution by the pit crew. We made the call not to put dry tyres on too early and made up a lot of positions to second. The final corner looked tricky all day and Nico could not save the car from the wall. It’s difficult to take as it was an exciting race and we’d have liked to have been part of it until the end. We missed an opportunity for big points over our direct competitors, but there are certainly positives from the weekend. We want to taste being higher on merit more regularly. It doesn’t deter from our focus of pushing on and building a more competitive car.