RENAULT were content with another double points-scoring finish, but driver Carlos Sainz could not help but wonder what might have been.

The Spaniard was on course for a sixth-place finish in an incident-packed French Grand Prix yesterday.

But Sainz, who qualified seventh for the Enstone-based outfit, had to settle for eighth at Circuit Paul Ricard after a technical issue in the closing laps.

With teammate Nico Hulkenberg ninth, Renault have now beaten their points tally from 2017 and strengthened their grip on fourth in the constructors’ championship.

But Sainz could not hide his frustration at the way his race finished.

The 23-year-old said: “It hurts a little bit to end the race like that.

“We were having such a good weekend from start to finish.

“It’s a shame and I feel sorry for the whole team, as I think we deserved to be best of the rest.”

Hulkenberg, who had qualified 12th, added: “I’m happy to gain a few places and finish in the points.

“Carlos was on for a good result and it’s a pity he missed out on sixth as that would have been really good points for the team.

“Overall, we’ve gained points in the Constructors’ so that’s not too bad at all.”

Kevin Magnussen was delighted with his sixth-place finish in the Banbury-prepared Haas.

The Dane benefited from Sainz’s misfortune, but teammate Romain Grosjean was outside the points in 11th.

Magnussen, who qualified ninth, said: “It was a good race and we had a good car.

“We got everything right.

“It was a good race for us, and we are very happy to come back from the disappointment of Saturday.

“We knew we were still standing in a position where we could probably do something good in the race, and it was our day.”

Grosjean, who was caught up in a first-lap incident, added: “We pushed as hard as we could, but we had some damage on the car from the first lap, and that was difficult because it removed some aero balance.

“I came back as hard as I could, but we were just too far back.

“The car is superfast and Kevin did a great job today, so I’m happy with that.

“But I want my turn to come because this stretch of bad luck is becoming a bit painful.”

Sergey Sirotkin was last in 15th, with Lance Stroll forced to retire late on with a front-left puncture, having already flat-spotted it.

The former was handed a five-second time penalty for driving unnecessarily slowly behind the safety car and was left to reflect on a familiar story.

Sirotkin, yet to score a point in 2018, said: “I think my race could have played out differently because I was just stuck behind the cars in front.

“It was costing me the brakes and the tyres, and I wasn’t able to do anything, which I think we could have done differently.

“I did what the team wanted me to do. We are where we are, it’s not easy.”

Stroll, who pitted for soft tyres following the opening lap when the safety was deployed after a first-corner collision, said: “It was optimistic to go the whole race on one set of tyres, and I think we were the only ones trying to go the whole way.

“We tried to do something, but it just didn’t work.

“It was certainly not the race we were hoping for.”