Carlos Sainz has blamed a poor strategy call for missing out on more points at the Hungarian Grand Prix as he finished in ninth place despite his impressive qualifying performance.

After profiting in the wet qualifying to line up fifth on the grid, Sainz lost out into the first turn to drop down the order before pitting early which proved to be the weaker strategy against his midfield rivals as he was overcut during the pit stops by both McLaren drivers and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen.

Hungarian GP - Driver Ratings

With ninth place his best offering, Sainz was downbeat having missed the opportunity to fight further forward and has called on Renault to review its strategy for future races.

“I think it a bit of everything happened to go so far back, I’m not happy,” Sainz said. “The start was good but then into Turn 1 I got pushed wide and I was surrounded by people on the Ultrasofts while I was on the Softs so I was probably lacking a bit of grip in the first couple of corners.

“Once we got in the rhythm we were starting to show some decent pace but then all of a sudden got overcut by everyone.

“We boxed too early and we were overcut by the McLarens and by a Haas so we lost all the positions there.”

On the other side of the Renault garage, Nico Hulkenberg accepted he struggled to find an ideal set-up with his car at the Hungaroring and ultimately failed to make inroads from starting down in 13th.

“We didn’t have the pace in the car today, and the balance felt poor,” Hulkenberg said. “Ultimately, we weren’t fast enough. We had a good one last weekend and it wasn’t so good this weekend, but that’s racing.

“When you don’t have the pace, everything gets difficult and I was in traffic most of the time, which makes things hard. We thought this track layout would suit us, so we need to understand what’s gone on this weekend and why the car was difficult to drive.”