Renault F1 Team experienced a disappointing qualifying for tomorrow’s Rolex Hungarian Grand Prix with Nico Hülkenberg eleventh and Daniel Ricciardo eighteenth at the Hungaroring.
Nico eased through the first phase of qualifying after two decent runs, but Daniel fell narrowly short after hitting traffic at a critical time on his out lap on his second run.
Nico, on his first Q2 effort, placed eighth and looked to be in contention of reaching Q3 for the third race in a row. But he could not find further improvement on his second run and missed out on the top ten by just 0.047secs.
Both drivers can take a free choice of tyre for tomorrow’s 70-lap race.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.19-04, Q: P11, 1:16.565 / FP3: P13, 1:17.667
“Starting eleventh tomorrow certainly isn’t a bad thing. We have some flexibility on strategy with the free tyre choice. The last lap in Q2 was tricky, and the difference in qualifying is so small in the midfield. It’s not a bad day for us and I think we can have a strong day tomorrow.”
Daniel Ricciardo, #3, R.S.19-02, Q: P18, 1:17.257 / FP3: P16, 1:17.962
“The car actually felt OK. We got caught in traffic and when I got to the last corner there were other cars that were backed up. At that stage you have a choice of trying to pass and keep your tyre temperature up or hang back and start the lap with cold tyres. I tried to go, but it was too late and then the lap was compromised. It’s going to be a tough race but tomorrow is another day so let’s see what happens.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director
“It was a tough qualifying. Nico got what he could from the car and there are certainly advantages from this starting position. Daniel’s P18 in qualifying is however a hard one to take. The track evolution is significant over a session, but waiting until the end leaves the door open for traffic. Daniel had time to back off, but was perhaps not aware of the extent of the situation. Given we are towards the back we will use the opportunity to change his PU and take penalties to avoid taking them at a race where there is perhaps more potential to make up ground. Nevertheless we will approach the race tomorrow looking for every opportunity to move up and leave with some points on the board.”