MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Renault Sport Formula One Team Renault RS17 locks a wheel under braking on track during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Managing Director of Renault Racing, Cyril Abiteboul, has admitted that they were not as prepared as they thought they were going to be for the season opening Australian Grand Prix last weekend.\Even though they were showing some strong testing pace at the Barcelona circuit in Spain, when it came to race day Down Under, things just didn’t seem to run as smoothly.

Only one of their drivers brought the car home, and that was Nico Hulkenberg in 11th place. Meanwhile, his young British teammate, Jolyon Palmer, who made a strong start from 19th on the grid to make up four positions on the first lap, sadly suffered an intermittent brake issue which led to his retirement from the race on lap 15.

“This has delivered several lessons. Our race result highlights that we were not as well prepared as our opposition and our lack of mileage and preparation, both during pre-season testing and during this weekend, meant we suffered,” he said. “We have learnt that in this new Formula 1 era everything needs to be perfectly executed, as it is very difficult to gain track position.”

“We needed to be stronger at the start, in our execution of our strategy, in our pit stops and with our car set-up and balance. Although there were very few laps of clean air to demonstrate it, we feel that our car-engine-driver combination allows us to be in the group that we were targeting to race against. At every race, we should be in a position to fight for Q3 on Saturday and to fight for points on the Sunday. Looking forward, our first priority for Shanghai is to improve our reliability and from there we should be in a stronger position.”