Although Nico Hulkenberg believes Renault have made a “good step” forward, he reckons it was only his long first stint on the ultras that put him in the points in Russia.
The German started Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix eighth on the grid but lost positions at the start.
He recovered to finish eight after putting in 39 laps – the longest of any first stint – on the ultrasoft tyres.
“I just didn’t have the pace,” he lamented.
“It was only after 20 laps that any grip came and I was able to catch up again on the Force Indias.”
As for that long first stint, he acknowledged: “That was absolutely worth it otherwise we would not have scored.
“It was a really long time with the ultrasoft tyres.
“It was no longer possible to make up any more time. When I got there, the tyres were over. One of the rear tyres had nothing more to it.
“One or two laps, and the lap times would have gone. ”
But while Sunday’s race was the second points-scoring result in as many races, Hulkenberg concedes there is still work to be done.
“I’m not quite sure yet,” he replied when asked if Renault had solved some of their problems. “To some extent.
“We have made a good step in the right direction but there is still a need to improve.”