D he major Renault upgrade did not show its teeth in Austria either. If the debut in France was a small disappointment, then at Spielberg you have to speak of a big one. Thanks to some penalties, Daniel Ricciardo moves up from 14th to twelfth starting position. The Australian honestly says: “I couldn't make Q3.”
After the twelfth fastest time including the penalty, Nico Hülkenberg counted on 17th position on the grid. Now he is 15th because of the complicated FIA penalty arithmetic. “Me take every space that is given to me, ”said Hülkenberg happily. In contrast to Ricciardo, the Rhinelander said: 'Q3 was within reach.'
The German in the French team names three reasons why he did not slip into the top ten. “On my first Q2 lap, the yellow flags were waved because of Magnussen's slip. On the second I had no slipstream. It's worth two to three tenths. In addition, a part of a guide plate broke off on the left, which also cost lap time. With the narrow gaps in midfield, I would have easily made the climb. 'Ricciardo, on the other hand, complained:' I didn't feel the front axle and left a lot of time braking. '
In the assessment of their cars, the Renault- Pilots don't quite agree. Both complained about balance problems in the long corners, but Ricciardo saw it as a more fundamental problem, while Hülkenberg blamed it on the characteristics of the track and the circumstances.
Ricciardo tampered with the set-up in vain. “Somehow the car felt like it did at the beginning of the season. I don't think there is anything wrong with the upgrade we brought in France, more with the basic set-up of the car. I hope this is not a trend, but an outlier. '
Does Renault lose too much downforce in the heat?
While Ricciardo before that warned to only blame the track, Hulkenberg believes very well that the cornering has something to do with Renault's form. “Somehow the track doesn't match our aerodynamics. In the long curves, the balance shifts. That costs us too much time. ”
The tall blonde has seldom seen a weekend where so much was tinkered with on his car. “It was a real fight. We turned the vote from left to right, top to bottom, but we never completely solved our problems. The qualification was still the best part of the weekend. ”
Renault is basically struggling with the same problems as Ferrari. Just on a different level. The car can be well adjusted to one type of corner. If a second one is added, it becomes difficult to find the best compromise. Even in the heat, Renault does not seem confident, since the rear has been built significantly slimmer. It was hot in France, too, and the factory racing team felt they were defeated at their home game.
The price for a compact rear end is that in hot races the fairing has to be opened too much to kill the engine save. That obviously disturbs the aerodynamics more than expected. Renault loses more downforce under these conditions than the Ferrari teams Alfa Romeo and Haas. Perhaps for this very reason Renault's last stage of development could not yet show what the wind tunnel promised.