Sainz sal­vages a point for Re­nault as Hulk strat­egy fails

Autosport (UK) - - RACE CENTRE -

Car­los Sainz Jr picked up a point for Re­nault with 10th place at Suzuka, mean­ing Haas is still eight points be­hind in the bat­tle for fourth in the con­struc­tors’cham­pi­onship. Re­nault en­dured an un­com­pet­i­tive week­end at Suzuka, and Sainz started 13th on the grid and ran 12th early on hav­ing been passed by Daniel Ric­cia­rdo on lap two fol­low­ing a good start. He ran his set of softs to the end of lap 32, emerg­ing in 13th place. He over­came Mar­cus Eric­s­son and gained an­other place when Charles Le­clerc made a se­cond pit­stop. Sainz then picked off Pierre Gasly’s Toro Rosso on his 50th lap to claim the point. Gasly was strug­gling with grip at that stage as his Toro Rosso was un­usu­ally hard on the tyres, hav­ing run as high as sixth early on but faded late in both stints. Team-mate Nico Hulken­berg tried an al­ter­na­tive strat­egy, start­ing 16th and run­ning long on medium rub­ber in the hope that a well-timed safety car could el­e­vate him into points con­tention. It didn’t come and he re­tired from last place with a‘rear-end is­sue’ – the is­sue be­ing that he was at the rear of the field.

MAUGER/LAT

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