Renault chief technical officer Bob Bell says a number of new additions to the team made during this year have led to a growing momentum at the Enstone, UK-based team.
Having returned to Formula 1 as a full constructor ahead of the 2016 season, Renault had to embark on a major recruitment exercise due to the lack of investment possible toward the end of the team’s time as Lotus. This year’s car was the first one designed under Renault ownership and has seen clear progress throughout the year, and with the team just four points off sixth place in the constructors’ championship, Bell is encouraged by the improvements shown in all departments.
“We have recruited more people who have the necessary understanding as well as an increase in the number of younger personnel, who are learning the trade,” Bell said. “There is momentum building in all areas and that has led to the progressive improvement in performance. We want to carry that on into winter and through into next year.
“I get a great sense that the momentum in this team is building for the longer term and that’s what we’re interested in. Clinching sixth in the Constructors’ is important as this team wants to show progress en route to being successful and winning championships. It’s important to feel and build on this momentum.”
Carlos Sainz was brought in as Jolyon Palmer’s replacement alongside Nico Hulkenberg from the United States Grand Prix, and with the pair having been closely matched in their three races together so far at the end of this season, Bell is also optimistic about the impact the driver line-up will have in 2018.
“Both are highly adept at giving us a clear direction to follow for the fundamental development path with the R.S.17. They see the same problems from slightly different angles, which is insightful. Carlos has settled in very quickly and works with his engineers very well. He’s been immediately on the pace. He’s a great team player and works well with Nico; they are both very mature.
“It’s key that they remain level-headed and keep progressing together. They are both clearly talented and very quick.”