Renault Sport Formula One Team faced a challenging qualifying session at Silverstone with neither driver breaking into the top ten for tomorrow's Rolex British Grand Prix.
Nico Hulkenberg finished with the eleventh fastest time, meaning a free choice of starting tyre for tomorrow's race. Carlos Sainz hit traffic on his fastest Q1 lap and could not better his time to move into Q2. He starts P16, the first time since Abu Dhabi 2017 he has not started inside the top ten.
Nico Hulkenberg: "I'm okay with P11 in the grand scheme of things. It's been a tricky weekend for us with the car so far as we haven't been so competitive. The strength of our car is more in the low-speed corners and we lost out here with the flowing high-speed corners. Q3 was a tall order, but if you can't be seventh you may as well be eleventh with a free tyre choice. P11 gives flexibility for strategy which could be valuable and useful; we can still have a strong race here."
Carlos Sainz: "It's been a challenging weekend so far. Every detail was key to make it into the top ten today. Unfortunately, we made some small set-up changes from FP3 to qualifying which didn't work as I expected and together with a bit of traffic, this was enough to miss Q2. It's a shame that my 100% Q3 record comes to an end, but I knew at some point, with this tight midfield, it could happen despite our best efforts. We'll analyse all the data and decide on the best strategy for tomorrow. It can be a tricky race, but with opportunities to get back into the points, so I look forward to that challenge!"
How would you view that Qualifying session for the team?
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: We are disappointed for Carlos as it's the first time he has been out in the first session of qualifying since he joined us in Austin last year. We obviously need to look at why this happened because the two cars have been very closely matched all season. Nico got the best from the car, but it's been a challenging weekend where we haven't been quick enough so far.
Does the starting position give you some advantage for tomorrow's race?
AP: Nico starting eleventh does open up some strategy options as we can choose our tyres, so we will be having a close look at this and seeing what we can do in the race.
Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.