Choosing Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz as their full-time race drivers has made a tremendous difference to the Renault F1 team, says chassis technical director Nick Chester.
Hulkenberg switched from Force India to take up Kevin Magnussen’s seat at the French team in 2017 and scored 34 points in the last season.
The German’s first teammate Jolyon Palmer scored only 8 points and was dropped from his race seat to make way for Carlos Sainz.
According to Chester, Hulkenberg has become a dependable reference for the team’s progress and bringing in Sainz has magnified that effect.
Speaking with Motorsport, he said: “It is massively important. The really great thing about Nico is that he is really consistent, he is really quick, and he tells you exactly where the problems are that are slowing him down,”
“He says, ‘this is the most important thing for me, if you work on this I will go quicker’ and then you don’t need to worry about a whole load of other stuff.
“So in terms of prioritising what you do, it is super important.
“And then Carlos is pretty much the same. He has got really good feedback and is quick, so with the two of them we have got some really good information to work with.
“It makes a massive difference.”
Hulkenberg has started in 135 grands prix till date, but is yet to get a podium finish.
Sainz is on a loan from Toro Rosso. Renault requested for his early release so they can race him instead of Palmer at the US Grand Prix. That decision worked out well for the French outfit as Sainz finished seventh in his debut race with the team at Austin.
“He liked the car straight away,” said Chester of Sainz.
“He could feel it had more grip and downforce, a slightly different balance to what he is used to, but he is obviously very good and he adapted to it pretty quickly.
“Now he is thinking hard and working with us really well on how we adapt the balance more to his liking and that will help both cars.”