Jun.11 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg left Canada “quite angry,” Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul has admitted.
In Montreal, it was German Hulkenberg’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the limelight, having qualified fourth and then finishing sixth.
But boss Abiteboul revealed after the race that he issued a team order to Hulkenberg to remain behind Ricciardo to the chequered flag.
“Nico is quite angry and I can understand it,” said the Frenchman.
“Daniel’s tyres were slightly older, also because he fought great duels with faster cars like Bottas. I guess Nico was quick enough to fight Daniel, but we had to make it clear to him that we need this result,” Abiteboul added.
“That’s not nice, I don’t like team orders either and it’s not in the style of Renault. And I hope I do not have to send such radio messages often.
“But my job is to get the best result for the team. We are fighting against McLaren and could not risk that because of an internal duel,” he said.
For his part, Hulkenberg admitted to “frustration” but also said he “understands” why he was told not to pass Ricciardo.
“This year we have lost a lot of points so we couldn’t risk it,” he said. “We needed this result.”