Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul apologised to Jolyon Palmer as the Brit didn’t even make it to the grid in a disastrous home Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Palmer’s Formula One race had a disappointing end as the Southwater driver stopped on the formation lap with a loss of hydraulic pressure and was forced to retire.
To make matters even more frustrating, he was due to start from 11th on the grid, his second highest qualifying position of the year.
Abiteboul backed Palmer to have ended his terrible run of not yet securing a point this season had the car not suffered technical problems.
He said: “We have to say sorry to Jo as he finally had the starting position he needed and we all wanted him to get those first points today. He almost certainly would have made it if we hadn’t had the problem.
“There is always a bit of frustration to be so exposed to reliability weaknesses as we could have done even better today, but what is important is that the upgrades have worked well and we are delighted to see this bear out in the results.”
Palmer said: “Going out at the start of the race is really frustrating. We had a hydraulic leak on the first lap, which is pretty gutting as I think we were in a good position. Eleventh with new tyres, a car that was working really well with lots of different options on strategy: all was looking good to get some points.
“I have had so much support all weekend that it would have been sweet to get them here. All the same we can see that the car has taken a step forward, but we just need to look at reliability now.”
In the other car, Nico Hülkenberg equalled their best finish and brought the R.S.17 home in sixth position; claiming a valuable eight points for the team, who are now just seven points shy of sixth position in the Constructors’ standings.