Renault has qualified its RS20s on the sixth and seventh positions on the starting grid of the Eifel Grand Prix, which will start at 2:10 p.m. on Sunday at the Nürburgring circuit. This result is not in itself extraordinary because for Enstone, aiming for the second row has been an attainable goal for several weeks. Except that Charles Leclerc has for once hoisted his Ferrari to fourth place, and that Alexander Albon slipped his Red Bull into the Top 5.
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But on closer inspection, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon only yielded 0 "2 to the Monegasque" rossa ". Above all, the RS20s beat their direct rivals McLaren and Racing Point, currently third and fourth in the championship. constructors' world By taking five points from RP and seven from McLaren on Sunday, the Losange would climb on the World Cup podium after the eleventh round of the World Cup.
Renault worked in the right direction on Saturday in terms of operating its single-seater during the only hour of preparation given to the field on Saturday, and it is a real satisfaction given the level of competition behind Mercedes and Red Bull. During free practice 3, Renault decided to only run its pilots in "tender" Pirelli, an option sanctioned after 50 laps by eighth and eleventh places for the Australian and the French, who have from the start of the qualification found their bearings despite the ambient cold (8 ° C).
The two pilots passed the cut in "soft" in Q1 before leaving on different choices: the driver from Perth indeed accomplished his first run in "medium" in Q2 – like the Mercedes and Ferraris – then he is aligned with the "tender" ride of the native of Evreux during his second attempt, validating the choice of "soft" tires for the start, Sunday at 2.10pm.
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In Q3, they had no regrets: they missed 0 "2 to threaten Alexander Albon (Red Bull) and they had 0" 2 margin over Lando Norris (McLaren) and Sergio Pérez (Racing Point). And it is with blows of thousandths that they are explained, the Aussie taking the advantage for 0 "019. "Sixth place is a good starting position, explained Daniel Ricciardo. It's going to be a tough race, but I'm looking forward to it and think we can aim for a top six. We will see how the 'softs' behave over time as they seem sensitive to graining. "
"I'm happy with the seventh place, reacted Esteban Ocon. We had very limited knowledge of the trail. We went straight into qualifying and the car behaved very well in Q1. I am delighted. We are now plunging into the unknown as I only rode with the 'tender' in practice and qualifying. We'll see how the tires develop and how long they last. "
And the objective will be to take more points from McLaren and the "Mercedes roses" as confirmed by Alan Permane. "Being sixth and seventh, ahead of our immediate rivals in the championship, we have an excellent working base, reassured the sports director. We worked on the tires in free practice 3 and are monitoring the weather even though we expect a dry Sunday. "
Without lowering their guard, Renault will only have to watch the McLarens and Racing Point of Sergio Pérez, given the distant starting position of Nico Hülkenberg (19th), replacing at a moment's notice the ill Lance Stroll.
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