Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul says his team must improve in every aspect after launching its 2018 car.
Last year was the first season with a Renault-designed car since its return to the sport in 2016, with the previous year’s chassis having been developed by Lotus. Renault moved up to sixth place from ninth in the constructors’ championship and showed strong improvement throughout the season, with the team targeting further progress with the R.S.18 that it launched on Tuesday.
— Renault Sport F1 (@RenaultSportF1) February 20, 2018
Abiteboul says the driver line-up of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz will prove crucial to the team’s hopes of moving further up the grid, but challenges Renault to show a step forward in avery area.
“We have everything to be positive about this year,” Abiteboul said. “We have two very talented and ambitious drivers. Last year Nico gave us exactly what we needed with his experience, knowledge and ability to lead both on and off track. Carlos joined us at the end of the season and he brought something fresh, and he scored points to help us in the Constructors’ battle. Without that we wouldn’t have finished where we finished.
“Our headline target is to show continued progression through results. We want to be able to showcase our progression in every regard; power unit, chassis, operations, drivers. Everything must improve and we must continue to grow.
“We want to demonstrate this in many different ways, from the teams we will be directly racing against, to the gap to the leaders, including also our fan base and the respect that our team will inspire in our way we behave on and off track.”
With Renault announcing that the new power unit “has realized a very strong program on the dyno,” Hulkenberg admits he is eager to get behind the wheel of the new car in Barcelona next week.
“When I have visited Enstone and seen everything going on with the development of the R.S.18, I’m very enthused about the season ahead,” Hulkenberg said. “Add that to the news from Viry about the development of the power unit and everything looks and sounds good; it’s all positive and there are exciting times ahead.
“I’m feeling positive and optimistic in myself. We’re in a good position. For this year we want to build on the good platform of last season. 2017 was about bedding in, now I want to get ready to go. I get a good feeling – we have put the work in over the winter and hard work usually pays off. I’m eager to get out there. Put me in the car.”
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