It was a year of slow, if any, progress for Renault in 2019, who slipped to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. Here are all the facts and statistics from Renault’s 2019 season.
It was the season that Renault were supposed to close the gap to top teams, with big name signing Daniel Ricciardo joining alongside Nico Hulkenberg. But Renault never looked anywhere near the top three teams, and were embarrassingly out-performed by engine customer McLaren. After finishing fourth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2018, Renault slipped to fifth this season, scoring 31 less points.
The bad omens for their season were there from the start, whether that was Ricciardo’s home race retirement or both cars failing at the same point in the Bahrain Grand Prix. It wouldn’t be until the Canadian Grand Prix in June that both Renault drivers finished in the top ten in the same race. It was an occurrence that happened only five more times through the season – and at one of those, at Suzuka, both drivers were disqualified for using illegal driver aids.
While Ricciardo out-qualified Hulkenberg by a margin of 14-7, it was not entirely a walk over by the Australian, with Hulkenberg often losing the battles by very small margins. In the races which they both finished, Ricciardo finished ahead ten times, compared to Hulkenberg’s five – but again in terms of points it was much closer, with Ricciardo scoring 60% and Hulkenberg taking 40%.
Nevertheless, for 2020, Esteban Ocon joins Ricciardo, and Hulkenberg moves to pastures new away from Formula 1. With big discussions ongoing about Renault’s future in the sport, the team must deliver more in 2020.
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Australia: For a second year in a row, Nico Hulkenberg brought home a seventh place finish for Renault at the Australian Grand Prix. But Daniel Ricciardo’s retirement meant that the team opened their season with one less point than in 2018.
Bahrain: As a result of Renault’s first double DNF since the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix, the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix was the eighth F1 race to finish behind the Safety Car – the first to do so since the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix.
China: Nico Hulkenberg recorded Renault’s first DNF at the Chinese Grand Prix. The Enstone team had previously had two DNFs in 2014 and 2015 under their Lotus guise.
Azerbaijan: For a third year in a row, Renault suffered a retirement at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and, for the third time in the four races at the Baku City Circuit, the team left the circuit without picking up a point.
Spain: Nico Hulkenberg’s Q1 elimination meant that Renault have seen one of their drivers exit in Q1 at the Spanish Grand Prix in every season since their return to F1.
Monaco: With Daniel Ricciardo finishing ninth and Nico Hulkenberg finishing thirteenth in the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix, a Renault driver has now finished the event in every position between 1st and 13th except second at least once.
Canada: At the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, Renault recorded their best qualifying result as a works team since Robert Kubica qualified in fourth at the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix. Both of their drivers equalled their best qualifying results at the track. Daniel Ricciardo had previously qualified fourth in Montreal in 2016, while 2019 marked the third time that Nico Hulkenberg had qualified in seventh place at the circuit.
France: With eleventh place in the 2019 French Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo recorded only the fourth non-score for a Renault driver at Circuit Paul Ricard. The last non-score for a Renault driver at the circuit was in 1985, when Derek Warwick finished seventh.
Austria: With Renault’s drivers finishing twelfth and thirteenth at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, the Renault name has not scored at the circuit since Alain Prost won and Eddie Cheever finished fourth in 1983.
Britain: Renault recorded a double points finish at the 2019 British Grand Prix. It’s the first time both Renault drivers have scored at the track since 2007.
Germany: At the 2019 German Grand Prix, Renault recorded their first double Q3 appearance at Hockenheim since 2006. With both drivers reaching the chequered flag, the team maintained their streak of both cars finishing the race at Hockenheim in every race since 2001.
Hungary: For the eighth time in fourteen appearances at the Hungaroring, Renault left the Hungarian Grand Prix having not scored a point.
Belgium: At the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo scored the first fourteenth place finish for a Renault driver at Spa, while Nico Hulkenberg was the first Renault driver to finish eighth at the circuit since Heikki Kovalainen in 2007.
Italy: In 2019, Renault reached Q3 with both cars for the first time at the Italian Grand Prix since 2011. The team enjoyed their most successful weekend of the year, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth and Nico Hulkenberg coming home in fifth place. The 2019 Italian Grand Prix marks the Renault team’s best result since Fernando Alonso won the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix. Team-mate Nelson Piquet Jnr finished fourth on that day.
Singapore: In qualifying for the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, Renault saw both drivers reach Q3 for the first time in their history at the track. Even under their Lotus guise, the Enstone team never saw both drivers qualify in the top ten at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Russia: Just as in Singapore, the 2019 Russian Grand Prix saw both Renault cars progress to Q3 for the first time at the circuit.
Japan: At the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, Renault became the first team to have both cars disqualified from a race since Sauber at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix. Renault are still yet to appear in Q3 at the track since their return to the sport.
Mexico: For the first time, Renault finished with both cars in the points at the Mexico Grand Prix. Despite this, Renault scored three less points at the event in 2019 than they did in 2018.
United States: For a third consecutive year at the Circuit of the Americas, one Renault car was eliminated in Q2 while the other reached Q3. Also for a third consecutive season, the team finished with at least one car in the top seven. This time, it was Daniel Ricciardo, who finished sixth.
Brazil: With sixth place in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo recorded the team’s best result at Interlagos since Fernando Alonso finished as runner-up in the 2008 race.
Abu Dhabi: Renault saw both of their cars reach Q3 for the first time at the circuit. The Enstone team last got two cars into the final part of qualifying under their Lotus guise in 2013.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.