Abiteboul appreciates team's persistence, optimistic in P3 battle
After the team's first podium since they joined the sport in 2016, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul thanked the team for their persistence.
With the win going to Lewis Hamilton, thereby making him tied for the title of F1's most successful driver, and Kimi Raikkonen successfully becoming the most experienced driver in the championship, the Eifel GP had numerous story lines.
As a result of the various headlines dominating the news upon the completion of the weekend, one story wound up shrouded by the massive media attention on other talking points of the race: Renault's F1 podium.
It was the first result of its kind for the team since they resumed involvement under the Renault name back in 2016, and considered a significant feat when their driver Ricciardo achieved it at the Nurburgring last Sunday.
Renault F1 boss Abiteboul praised the efforts of the team which he oversees, applauding their unwavering dedication in the face of adversity. "The story of the day is clearly the milestone which is the journey of the team," he began whilst speaking to TV media.
"We are back as a team since 2016, it has taken a while and there's been lot of criticism about that and commitment to the sport, also capacity to progress in the sport, and finally to get to that position - we know it was possible due to retirement of Valtteri and we know that our car is not straightaway capable to do that but there is no doubt that we are progressing and I see that a small boost for what's to come."
After an impeccable run in form that began back at Spa, a podium for the F1 team had almost seemed like an inevitability, as the team repeatedly delivered performances hardly touched by those of years prior. Abiteboul attributed this drastic performance boost to consistency and reliability, though it is worth considering that a multitude of upgrades likely contributed.
"The consistency is coming from reliability and good execution, the three cars are close from one another, there will be some differences according to the track characteristics but we are getting very close," said Abiteboul, as he added on the fight with McLaren and Racing Point for third.
"We all have the car that's good enough for P3, so it is very much whoever will be the most reliable and will have good execution in the races," Abiteboul said, continuing with: "It's been a good couple of races. We are right in the mix with Racing Point and McLaren."
From the part of Abiteboul, there was also praise aplenty for Daniel Ricciardo, after the Australian delivered the team its first trophy under the Renault name. "Daniel has been good team member, he has brought some things which was question mark for us. There's something that clicked between Daniel and this car. His race engineer was also doing a fantastic job in Germany.
"His confidence level has improved, but simply because he has a better car. He's capable of doing what he wants, and I think the predictability of the car is much better than it used to be. Overall, it's a good working relationship," summed up Abiteboul.
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]