Renault’s report from qualifying for the French Grand Prix, Round 8 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet.
Renault F1 Team will line up for its home race, the Pirelli French Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo eighth. The Australian enjoyed a strong session, easing through into Q3 to start from the top ten for the sixth time this season.
Nico Hülkenberg will line up in thirteenth after narrowly missing out on Q3. Nico had put in an impressive performance in Q1, with the fourth quickest lap and a best overall split in the second sector, but he lost the rear at turn eight on his final run in Q2 and could not improve.
The 53-lap race, which will mark the 40th anniversary of Renault’s first-ever win in Formula 1, starts at 15:10 local time.
Nico Hülkenberg: “Today was about small margins. We didn’t have a totally smooth Q2, and that’s why we’re outside the top ten. Nothing bad happened, my first lap in Q2 on Mediums was good, but on my second lap, which is supposed to be quicker, I lost the back end into turn eight and that was it. I’ll aim to race hard tomorrow. Our race pace looked good in practice and we’ll aim to keep it clean. There’s potential for points, and we’ll do everything we can to put the car back in the top ten.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “I’m content with eighth place today; we kept up our recent run of Q3 appearances. I felt there wasn’t much more lap time left out there and eighth was probably the maximum. I made a mistake on the first Q2 run, so I aborted that and then put the Medium tyre on. It was a risk as it was the first time we had run it all weekend. But clearly the team knew it was going to pay off as I managed a good lap to get through to Q3. The grid tomorrow is interesting with more or less everyone starting on the Mediums. I’ll target the cars ahead and aim for a good race.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “Daniel had a strong session and P8 is a reasonable starting position for the race tomorrow. We have improved our car a lot since yesterday, but not quite enough to be in front of McLaren. Nico unfortunately made a mistake on his second run in Q2, but without that he would most likely have been in Q3. It’s a bit of a mixed result but plenty to work with in the race tomorrow.”