Renault knew that the Grand Prix of Italy 2017 in Monza would not be a sugarcane. For this reason Nico Hullkenberg and Jolyon Palmer bought penalty spots before the race in order to be better positioned in the future.
Nevertheless, the hope of course died last – on the dusting of one or other point the Enstone team will have hoped for. But after a 13th place of Hullkenberg and a failure of Palmer it was clear: for the seventh time there were 2017 twice zero points.
After he had no chance with the PS disadvantage, Nico Hullkenberg remains relatively left behind. It is disappointing not to score points, but after the punishment we had to swallow, it was probably not preventable,”says the 30-year-old. As opposed to “RTL”, he adds: “As expected, the Pace was simply not there. It was missing top speed. That is why today it was quite hopeless.”
In addition to the low peak speed, he was particularly troubled by balance problems, which attracted him in the race”from the first to the last round”. In addition, there was the disadvantage of Dirty Air, which doubtless enjoyed most of the race. I had exactly two free rounds where the car felt better. But then there was traffic again. At least we didn’t lose points against Haas and Toro Rosso –just a few on Williams.”
The tension rose again among the observers when Nico Hilkenberg was on Kevin Magnussen. But “Suck my Balls” part two stayed out. The spectators were probably more upset than I was,”Hillkenberg laughs. I’d have liked to have attacked him, but with our top speed, I haven’t been able to sit next to him. The deficit was simply too large.”
Promising strategy does not reward Palmer
Jolyon Palmer had little to laugh about outside his 15-minute glory in his fight with Fernando Alonso. Another failure robbed him of another chance to increase his prospects for a commitment in Formula One season 2018 at Renault.” I had a pretty bad start and unfortunately I slipped back at the end of the field,”the Brit recalls his race.”I’m sorry. Then I was able to overtake the Clean and Fernando, quite legitimately. I was actually quite satisfied with the balance of the vehicle.”
Palmer tried a”reverse strategy”, i.e. a start on the tougher soft tyre so that at the end a final attack on super softs could start. The strategy could have worked, but then the five-second penalty for fighting Alonso did a trick on him. He fell back behind the battle group with Hullkenberg, Magnussen and the two Toro Rossos.
With the softer tires the situation was not hopeless, perhaps to make up for a few more places, but then he had to give up.” I had set myself up to start some kind of overtaking maneuver, but then we had a problem. Too bad,”commented Palmer on the technical failure. So he has to wait for his first points of the season.