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Hulkenberg sees P7 as just reward for Renault's hard work

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Renault's Nico Hulkenberg held his own from start to finish in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, concluding his race exactly where he started it in P7.

It was a rather uneventful afternoon for the German who unfolded the laps, only interrupted by a trouble-free pitstop which saw him change from his qualifying ultrasoft tyres to Pirelli's soft rubber.

The solid and consistent run was one more step in the right direction for Renault's scheduled progress

"We should be pretty happy with today. The pace of the car was strong and competitive, but we know we still have a lot of work to do," said the Hulk.

"I’m happy with how the weekend has progressed, Friday wasn’t great for me, but we’ve turned it into a decent result and a satisfying Sunday.

"We got lucky with retirements, but also unlucky with the safety car, but that’s racing and taking six points home is a just reward for the team’s hard work."

Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul was equally satisfied with the French team's inaugural 2018 race which also saw Carlos Sainz collect a point for rounding off the top-10.

"It’s a satisfying result, not perfect by any means, but it shows we’re in line with our targets of making progress," said Abiteboul.

"Clearly, for a good result, everything must be smooth, from pit-stops to reliability and this double top-ten finish illustrates a solid start to the season.

"We’re pleased with today and the result gives us something to build on. In the race, the safety car hurt us slightly, but that’s racing and sometimes these things benefit you," he added.

"Our focus on reliability has been illustrated with all Renault-powered cars finishing inside the top ten today, which is a good positive.

"We know it’s going to be extra tight in the midfield battle, and that motivates us to keep working hard."

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