Renault Formula 1 driver Nico Hulkenberg was left “a bit upset” after the team ordered him to stay behind Daniel Ricciardo in the Canadian Grand Prix, according to the team's managing director Cyril Abiteboul.
Hulkenberg made his sole stop of the race eight laps after Ricciardo, and thus seemed to have more pace in hand at the end of the race, closing in on the Australian after Ricciardo had been passed by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
But the two Renault drivers remained in formation from then on to the finish, with Ricciardo taking the chequered flag just four tenths ahead of Hulkenberg to secure sixth place.
Speaking after the race, Abiteboul confirmed to Motorsport .com that the team had intervened in its drivers' post-race battle, ordering them to maintain position.
“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
“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."
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