Renault go into winter with 'chins up' after securing sixth

Social story of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (1:15)

Catch up with the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi through the eyes of social media. (1:15)

Cyril Abiteboul believes Renault's sixth place finish in the constructors' championship represents a significant milestone in the French manufacturer's bid to return to winning ways in Formula One.

Nico Hulkenberg's controversial sixth-place finish in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix enabled Renault to leapfrog Toro Rosso into sixth in the constructors' standings, a result worth millions in terms of financial revenue.

Following a difficult 2016, Renault enjoyed better performances across this season, and despite facing a number of reliability problems, a more consistent package compared to midfield rivals Toro Rosso and Haas ultimately proved key to the Enstone-based outfit securing its best finish in F1 since returning to the sport as a full-works squad.

"Mission accomplished. We came here with one clear objective -- and I'm so proud we got it," Renault boss Abiteboul said. "It's a milestone for the team and an achievement that goes beyond the on-track result. It's a motivation for everyone -- for every team member and a fantastic reward that will count far more through the winter than any financial considerations.

"At the start of the year we set out to finish fifth, which was very ambitious, but ambition is good -- you have to set high targets. This season we've not made it easy for ourselves and the last three weekends have been a microcosm of this rollercoaster of a year. Sixth was the revised goal and I'm so proud we got it."

Abiteboul also praised the high level of performance that Hulkenberg has maintained throughout the season, with the German scoring 43 of the 57 points Renault has recorded this season.

"Nico has been amazing -- amazing all year long. He's shown that on so many occasions. Here, every lap he's driven absolutely perfectly -- and also so smart so clever. It's a great result for the team."

Hulkenberg, who pipped the retiring Felipe Massa to 10th in the drivers' championship, said the result in Abu Dhabi will act as motivation for the French manufacturer heading into 2018.

"It was a bit of a thriller! We managed to come out on top and it's a very decent end to the season. Sixth position in the championship is good for us and will be a morale booster for the team over the winter.

"We had a good package over the second half of the season, but we have had some issues so it is great to finish on a positive result and go into the winter with our chins up."