NICO Hulkenberg was thrilled after securing the Enstone-based Renault team’s best Formula 1 result when coming sixth in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The German, who had started 13th on the grid, said: “It’s a great result for us and very rewarding too.

“It’s been our lucky day with some of the top cars going out at the start.

“At the same time, we were there at every opportunity to do a good job and the guys did a great second pitstop to enable us to pass the Sauber.”

Teammate Jolyon Palmer, who came 15th said: “ I wasn’t able to get the pace out of the car when it was needed, however we were going better on the final set of tyres.

“My job now is to sit down with my engineers and analyse the race whilst we also have a good look at the car too.”

Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: “It was fantastic race result after a difficult qualifying session yesterday. It goes to show, you should never let your head go down and you should always maximise every opportunity.”

There was no joy for the Grove-based Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll who finished 13th and 16th respectively.

Massa was hampered by a first-lap incident with Fernando Alonso.

“I’m so disappointed,” he said. “I had a fantastic start.

“I then got to turn two and Alonso was suddenly on the outside of the corner, we touched and I picked up a puncture, which ruined my race.”

l RENAULT Sport’s development driver Oliver Rowland, who lives in Enstone, moved up to second in the F2 drivers' championship with two podium finishes in Barcelona In the afternoon’s feature race under warm conditions, Rowland made Charles Leclerc work tirelessly to capture third spot.

The race came alive for Rowland on lap 13 as he overtook Alexander Albon for the lead.

It wasn’t until pitting on lap 29 that Rowland then handed top spot back to Ferrari F1 junior driver, Leclerc.

Rowland wasn’t to be denied though, cutting his way back through the pack after his pit stop top finish third..

In the sprint event, Rowland again came alive coming second behind Honda-backed Nobuharu Matsushita.

THREE days after being named a development driver for the Banbury-based Haas F1 Team, 19-year-old Arjun Maini scored his first career GP3 Series victory at Catalunya.

The Indian driver for Jenzer Motorsport started second in the 19-car field and took the lead from the start, jettisoning pole winner Raoul Hyman before holding off Dorian Boccolacci.