Nico Hulkenberg believes Renault fully-deserved its fifth place finish at the German Grand Prix, as the team secured its joint-best result of the 2018 Formula 1 season. 

Hulkenberg turned in a measured drive in a crazy wet-dry race to seal fifth place on home soil, marking his best finish for Renault and his strongest result in F1 since claiming fourth at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix. 

“I’m very happy with that. The first part of the race wasn’t so exciting, but it was unfolding nicely towards the end, then the rain hit us,” Hulkenberg said.

“It was tricky out there trying to keep it on the road, but I enjoy those conditions and started to make some gains. It’s good points for the team, our joint best finish of the season and my best finish with Renault. 

Hulkenberg praised Renault’s decision-making during tough conditions as being key to his result, which has strengthened the French manufacturer’s hold over fourth place in the constructors’ - moving 21 points clear of Force India. 

“More crazy conditions would have been nice, but we’ll take that,” he added. “We made the right decisions and that’s why we deserve fifth today. We’ve been working hard for it, so it’s a nice reward for the team. We did a good job today.”

Teammate Carlos Sainz had been in contention to make it two cars in the points as he finished 10th on the road, but a 10-second time penalty for overtaking Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson under the Safety Car dropped him down the order. 

“It was a difficult race for me in the end. We made a good start off the line, but then I got squeezed and lost a little bit of momentum,” Sainz explained. 

“The race settled after that and we were looking in a good position to score points before rain made the track quite slippery and difficult. 

“Unfortunately, I stopped for Intermediate tyres the lap before Vettel crashed, so we were slightly unlucky with the timing. We finished in the top ten, but the penalty ended our chances of securing points, which is disappointing and we’ll look at what happened there.”