Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Silverstone, 2017

Renault made “big step forward” at Silverstone

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Renault say the new aerodynamic package they introduced at Silverstone was a “big step forward” for their RS17.

Nico Hulkenberg was the only one of the teams drivers to use the new floor at the British Grand Prix. He started and finished sixth, equalling the team’s best result so far this year and improving on their best qualifying position.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2017
2017 British Grand Prix in pictures
“We had significant aero upgrades in Silverstone and we expected to see improvements in overall grip and stability,” said chassis technical director Nick Chester.

“We made the car more drivable with more downforce. It took a big step forward and we could see that in the measurements made in the car, so we are reasonably confident this will carry forward.”

Hulkenberg’s efforts to hold off Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault-powered Red Bull for fifth failed after a power unit problem. The team’s other car failed to start the race after Jolyon Palmer experienced a hydraulic shutdown on the formation lap.

“It was something as simple as an O ring in the hydraulic system,” Chester explained. “We’ve been investigating thoroughly to determine why it failed to ensure we don’t see this again.”

Chester said both cars will have the new floor at the Hungaroring ring. “We will evaluate updated front bodywork and a modified cooling package,” he added.

Managing director Cyril Abiteboul has targeted the teams first two-car points finish of 2017 in next weekend’s race.

“It’s critical to back up this improvement with both cars finishing in the top ten in Hungary,” he said. “we want to finish the first half of the season on a positive note.”

“To achieve this, we need to put behind our reliability problems. We know our situation and the areas which require more attention.”

Renault is yet to announce its plans for its post-Hungarian Grand Prix test, amid mounting speculation it could give Robert Kubica his first run in a current-specification F1 car since his 2011 rally crash.

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 9 comments on “Renault made “big step forward” at Silverstone”

    1. Big step it’s as if renault had gotten something wrong on their aero package and now they’ve fixed it, and Renault had looked weak on high downforce tracks, it’s strange to find at least 6 places on the grid with one floor.

      1. @peartree I could be wrong but i think the floor is one of the most important element of the aerodynamic package. However they say big step but this is to put relatively to the other midfield team (they are still far from the leading trio), so its sounds legit to me this is a regular upgrade that is paying off.

        1. @pyon I said that, it was strange to see Renault perform this well relative to their form guide, I don’t disregard the value of their upgrade, that said I suspect Renault fixed an aero issue rather than find a lot of aero performance because as other teams have shown, these days you find a tenth here a tenth there even on big aero parts.
          As far as I’m aware McLaren, RB, Mercedes, Ferrari have all introduced several new floors, yet none of them made an huge leap in performance, so I conclude their old floor was really bad. The midfield battle is tight but Hulk was far ahead of any of the midfield teams, so I don’t understand why Renault is still aiming low… It’s Palmer….

          1. @peartree sorry if i misunderstood what you mean. From my pov this upgrade is not massive in term of performances, they have always been able to fight for Q3 and this is a track where Renault’s package was expected to be good at (see Palmer’s 11th without the floor). I reckon another less favourable track and we will see them further back.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      21st July 2017, 22:33

      Big step forward and one of their cars couldn’t even make the formation lap! But anyhow, it did look like they made a big step forward, but even Hulkenberg had problems. They do need to sort out reliability problems at Renault. Red Bull have had about 5 or maybe even 6 retirements this year because of engine related problems. Renault themselves have had far to many reliability problems with Palmer too. Even Torro Rosso have had issues. Kvyat has had at leased 3 retirements with car problems and Sainz has had one too in Austria. All these 3 teams have Renault engines and they do seem to have been very unreliable. But better than Honda!

    3. Big step forward from a performance perspective, or big step forward from a HR perspective?

    4. I wonder if kubica’s time in the simulator with current car unlocked some pace for renault? ;)

    5. They would make a giant step for mankind if they sacked palmer

      1. Hahahaha

        It’s only a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ they sack Palmer. My guess is that everything hinges on the Kubica test in Hungary. If he’s shown to be quicker than Palmer on Day 1, I expect them to dump Jolyon during the summer break itself.

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