1 2 races are over. Formula 1 is on vacation. At least the teams have to close the factories between Hungary and Belgium for two weeks. The think tank continues to work. And the Renault engineers have to think a lot. Renault left Budapest disappointed. Sports director Cyril Abiteboul spoke of a bad racing day. Carlos Sainz started promisingly from fifth place, which was due to the rain qualifying, and was handed back to ninth position. Nico Hülkenberg jumped into the points on the starting lap and still missed them after 70 laps.
For Sainz, the first meters were the other way around. The Spaniard actually got off to a good start in his Renault R.S. 18. But in the first corner Max Verstappen surprised him on the inside. Sainz was pushed to the outside and therefore could not accelerate well and slipped behind Pierre Gasly and later Kevin Magnussen. The Renaults rolled into eighth and tenth place, came one place up after Verstappen's retirement and then fell behind Daniel Ricciardo, who rolled up the field from behind.
Renault has to watch out for HaasF1
In the previous races, Renault's tactics department was convincing. The early pit stops in Budapest, however, were the wrong decision. Hulkenberg put down the soft tires in the 23rd lap against the medium. Sainz two laps later. McLaren followed the same tire tactics, but delayed the first stop further and outstripped the French factory racing team. Renault was lucky to take two points instead of just one point. Stoffel Vandoorne failed due to a gearbox defect.
Renault's main problem is the tire-eating chassis. This has to do with the fact that the aerodynamic window, in which there is constant contact pressure, is too small. In the last few races, the yellow-black racing cars therefore always had to drive with the harder compounds. Because otherwise they would not have made one stop over the distance.
Hülkenberg's second tire change was more desperate. The Rhinelander was annoyed about Saturday's qualifying. A faulty tank system had ruined a better starting position for him. “The preprogrammed amount of fuel did not flow into the tank before Q2. When you see where Carlos ended up, you have to speak of a wasted opportunity. ”
The R.S. 18 especially puts too much strain on the rear tires. On a route like the Hungaroring, where traction is required, and the many consecutive curves and hot asphalt temperatures drive up the tread temperatures, this is twice as punitive. Toro Rosso and HaasF1 could drive with Ultrasoft and Soft. You have more tire-friendly cars.
'We had the wrong tires at the start,' says Abiteboul. “Our car forces the harder tires on us. Or maybe we are too conservative. We have to check that out. In general, we never had the right tires on our cars at the right time during the race. Our balance was bad. The wrong tires made them worse. ”
HaasF1 shortened the gap to Renault in the team championship to 16 points. And the US racing team generally has the better car. Woe if HaasF1 brings everything together on one weekend, doesn't make any driving errors or tactical mistakes and has racing luck on its side. Then Renault's lead is quickly used up.
That is why Enstone is working flat out. A new underbody is to be screwed to the car in Spa. The engine department is working on the C specification. Further aerodynamic updates are to follow in portions before the Japanese GP. “Much of what we will bring and learn in 2018, we can carry over to the next year. Despite the rule changes, ”says Chassis Director Nick Chester.