Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul admits Nico Hulkenberg was left “a bit upset” after being ordered to stay behind Daniel Ricciardo in the Canadian GP.
Hulkenberg made his only stop of the race eight laps after his team-mate, so when Ricciardo was passed by former Red Bull partner Max Verstappen, Hulkenberg thought he had a golden opportunity to snatch P6 on fresher rubber.
However, the pair would hold station with Ricciardo taking the chequered flag four tenths clear of Hulkenberg, leading Abiteboul to admit that their orders hadn’t gone down too well with the German.
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“Daniel was on slightly older tyres than Nico, also because he had a go at a couple of fast cars, clearly his tyres were not in such a good shape,” Abiteboul explained to reporters.
“Probably Nico would have had the pace to overtake him, but frankly we said ‘we need that result’.
“I don’t like to have to do that, it’s not the style of the team, that’s something that we don’t intend to do on many occasion.
“I wanted to make sure that the team’s back in the game, and the drivers will also be back in the game, their own game, from next week onwards – but for this weekend it was important to get back as close as possible to the team that’s still fourth, which is McLaren.
“He’s a bit upset. And I understand why he’s upset.”