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Renault explains why the Hard call was the right one

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team
© XPB 

Renault gambled by deciding to run on Pirelli's latest hard compound tyre in last weekend's British Grand Prix, and it turned out to be the right decision.

Starting from 11th place on the grid, Nico Hulkenberg leapt up to sixth by the end of the first lap. And thanks to a one-stop strategy he was able to hold on to that position until the chequered flag.

"We'd elected to go on the hard tyre, which was maybe a bit slower on pace, but we wanted to go for the one stop," the driver explained.

"There was obviously some chaos [at the start] in turns two and three where I managed to sneak through and pick up some places. After that it was a case of managing the tyres and the race."

His team mate Carlos Sainz had also been on course for a top ten finish before an accident with Haas' Romain Grosjean on lap 37.

"After stopping again for the soft tyre during the Safety Car, we were looking good to get back in the points," he said. "It was a shame for it to end like that."

But Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul revealed that the decision for both drivers to go with the hard compound had been more or less forced on the team by what happened the previous week in Austria.

The team had suffered serious problems with blistering at the Red Bull Ring and ended the race without any points.

"We were still coming from the shock of Austria," Abiteboul admitted. "Our strategy was destroyed after the blistering that happened with Carlos, who otherwise would have done a great race.

"Coming from that situation, and learning out of it for a couple of days, we made a decision to go for medium and hard compound," he told Autosport magazine.

Abiteboul feared that Silverstone's newly resurfaced track together with high-speed corners and bone-shaking bumps would make it even harder on tyres than had been the case in Austria.

"It's a track where given the characteristics of the car, the performance power deficit, and a couple of other factors, we knew that we were on the back foot," he said. "But we managed to turn that around, which is great."

"We know that we have a car that is degrading the tyres much more than any other team, that's a fact, we know that," he said. "Our competitors know that also, so there is no point in hiding.

"We were the only one to use the hard compound which we tested on Friday afternoon," he added. "We could see that we had a decent pace on that compound in comparison to other teams, so we decided to go for that."

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