Having struggled throughout 2019 with engine reliability issues, and a lack of overall speed, it appeared to come good for the French outfit this weekend.
Prior to qualifying the team looked to have sorted their ‘tow-tactics’, as well as get decent long run speed from the R.S.19.
The long straights so unique to Monza looked beneficial to the car, andthe drivers didn’t seem to struggle with low downforce through the Lesmos, Ascari and Parabolica.
Both cars made it through to the final part of qualifying, and were only beaten by the Mercedes and Ferrari’s, as Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg locked out the third row in fifth and sixth.
The duo avoided all drama during the race, and gained positions thanks to Sebastian Vettel’s early spin, eventually crossing the line in fourth and fifth place, Ricciardo eight seconds ahead of Hulkenberg.
The team scored their best result in their current guise, previously taking sixth and seventh at Canada this year.
Ricciardo’s position is the best since Vitaly Petrov scored a podium for the Lotus Renault GP team at the Australian Grand Prix in 2011. Before then, the previous best result for a works Renault team was Robert Kubica’s third place at the Belgian Grand Prix in 2010.
Does this performance at the Italian Grand Prix represent a change in fortune for Renault? Or is it just a flash in the pan?
With Grand Prix like Singapore, and Japan in the coming three rounds, it’s highly doubtful Renault will be able to recreate this performance. Their next real shot at a strong race is the Mexican Grand Prix, where straight-line speed becomes a more influential factor.