Renault strengthens grip on fourth – but Carlos Sainz Jr misses out
Renault strengthened its grip on fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship, but there was more frustration for Carlos Sainz Jr.
Nico Hulkenberg finished in sixth position for Renault, albeit two laps down on winner Max Verstappen, enabling the manufacturer to move 30 points clear of Haas.
But the lead midfield honour could have gone to Sainz Jr., who was running in front of his team-mate when his R.S.18 suffered an electrical shutdown.
It marked the second time this season, after France, that Sainz Jr.’s hopes of heading the midfield fight have been thwarted by a reliability issue.
“It was a big shame,” said Sainz Jr. “We were leading the midfield comfortably and in contention for some good points and then, without warning, the car shut down.
“It’s really frustrating after making such a good start on lap one, but that’s racing.
“We’ve not had too many reliability issues this season, but when I have, it’s been when I’ve been leading the midfield, so that’s a bit of bad luck and coincidental for it to happen again.
“We’ll investigate the issue and move on. We’ll keep fighting, aim to score points at the last two rounds and look to secure fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
“We deserved more, but at least Nico stayed in the points.”
Sainz Jr.’s exit elevated Hulkenberg to sixth place.
“We’ve had two very good weekends in a row with a lot of points,” he said.
“From my side, it was a very calm and solid race, albeit a little lonely to get ourselves through on a one-stop strategy.
“We had to manage the car and the tyres through the race and the whole team did a good job all weekend.
“It was a shame to lose Carlos, otherwise we could have had sixth and seventh again and another strong haul of points for the team.”