Grosjean: Retirement “just part of motor racing”

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Romain Grosjean said his retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix due to a suspension failure was “just a part of motor racing”.

Grosjean said “there was potential for a strong result today” despite him falling from sixth to ninth at the start.

“The car was feeling pretty good until we had an issue with the rear suspension which meant I had to return to the pits and retire from the race, which is a great shame,” he said.

“It’s always disappointing for everyone when something like this happens but there’s no-one to blame; it’s just a part of motor racing.”

Team principal Eric Boullier said: “We need to investigate what happened to Romain’s car. I feel sorry for him and for the team.”

Grosjean’s retirement ended Lotus’s streak of finishing every race this year with both cars in the points. However Kimi Raikkonen closed to within four points of Sebastian Vettel in the battle for the drivers’ championship.

“I’m delighted for the team to achieve another second place with Kimi today,” Boullier added. “Once again he drove fantastically and we were able to give him a great car with a good strategy.”

“We took points from Sebastian in the drivers’ championship, but we have lost out a bit in the constructors’ championship.”

F1 2017 driver review: Nico Hulkenberg

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Nico Hulkenberg

Team: Renault
Car No.: 27
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Abu Dhabi)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 43
Championship Position: 10th

Expectations were hard to peg for Renault heading into its second full season back in F1 with a factory team, but Nico Hulkenberg was surely expected to be the man spearheading its charge.

With teammate Jolyon Palmer severely underperforming, Hulkenberg did exactly that, bringing home all but 14 of the team’s points in the final standings. However, consistency was never something he truly found.

Many of Renault’s issues were down to reliability issues, sidelining Hulkenberg for six races – four coming in a five-race stint from Singapore to Mexico – yet he only scored points in consecutive races on three occasions.

When Hulkenberg and Renault were on form, they proved to be a potent combination, often topping the midfield fight and even looking faster than Force India come the end of the season. His run to sixth at the final race in Abu Dhabi was crucial for the constructors’ championship as Renault jumped Toro Rosso, securing an extra slice of prize money in the process.

But for a driver who was so often tipped as being a future star in F1, Hulkenberg still has a lot to prove. Renault is set to offer a good platform for the German moving forward with factory support, yet if he cannot beat new teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. through 2018, concerns will surely be raised.

Season High: Charging to sixth in Abu Dhabi despite a penalty.

Season Low: A tough run to 16th in Malaysia.