Fortunes didn’t favour Renault Sport Formula One Team in a fast-paced and hot Hungarian Grand Prix with Jolyon Palmer finishing twelfth and Nico Hülkenberg returning to the pits three-laps shy from the chequered flag, following contact with Kevin Magnussen. Nico was classified seventeenth at the finish.
• Nico started the race from P12 on his qualifying Supersoft (red) Pirelli tyres, pitting from P6 to change to a set of new Soft (yellow) tyres on lap 45. His pit stop was slow due to a recalcitrant wheel gun. Contact late in the race from a subsequently penalised Kevin Magnussen pushed Nico off track and he subsequently retired due to issues with his brakes and gearbox.
• Jolyon started the race from P10 on a new set of Supersoft tyres. After running as high as P8, he pitted from P11 on lap 46 for a new set of Soft tyres.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04: Started P12, classified P17.
“It was a frustrating race today, especially as we had the pace for a better result. I felt really confident and the car was good. We could put in decent lap times in clear air, but it was pretty difficult to pass, so I spent a lot of time stuck in traffic. The pit stop was frustrating as we lost a lot of time at a vital moment in the race. This led to me being stuck behind Kevin Magnussen. I’m all for hard racing but he was just ruthless by pushing me off track, for which he was then penalised.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-03: Started P10, finished P12.
“The start was okay, but I lost out when I had to avoid Ricciardo, who suddenly slowed and that dropped me out of the top ten. As well as letting him through, my strategy was compromised today to try and help Nico’s race, and that meant Magnussen and Kvyat jumped me. It was a frustrating run to the flag with much more pace, but no chance to overtake them on this track. Now I’m looking forward to summer break and switching off from racing to reset for Belgium.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director
“It’s a disappointing result on Sunday from what could have been a very strong weekend for us. Our starts weren’t good enough with either car to move up the order, especially for Nico to recover from the gearbox penalty. Subsequently, we were caught in quite a procession as it is difficult to pass here. It was clear that Nico had more pace than Jolyon in the early stages, so they swapped position. Unfortunately, Nico was subsequently delayed with a wheel gun issue on his stop and this dealt his chances of points a fatal blow. His race then came to a premature end after being pushed off track by Magnussen, which caused a number of issues on the car. Jo had a solid race however the pace wasn’t strong enough for points. Despite the disappointment today, we have taken a clear step forward with the car, as shown in qualifying and in clean air, so we are eager to put this into play in Spa.”