Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes his team deserves to be ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ championship based on the performance of its car.
McLaren cited Red Bull as its benchmark having switched to Renault power units this year, despite the works team showing impressive progress throughout 2017. Renault has proven one of the more consistent midfield performers, reaching Q3 with both cars at every race so far but sits three points behind McLaren – which has yet to reach Q3 – despite Nico Hulkenberg finishing sixth twice and seventh once in the opening three rounds.
“I think it’s very clear that we have a better car than they have at the start of this season,” Abiteboul told RACER of Renault’s performance compared to McLaren. “But you know we are not taking things for granted.
“We know that they will develop massively – I know that there is lots of parts coming for later in the season so we just need to work flat out to keep that advantage and hopefully to recover those positions in the championship. They are currently fourth, we are currently fifth – but I think that we deserve to at least have a go at the fourth position.”
In the team’s preview for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Abiteboul added that Baku will see further upgrades as Renault looks to strengthen its position in a midfield that has seen plenty of fluctuating form so far this year.
“Baku will mark the start of the next phase of our season push. We will debut some new chassis upgrades, specifically on the wings and bargeboards, which will be followed on the engine side in Barcelona. We are confident that the combination of these developments can allow us to maintain our performance. We need to remain focused on making every single element work.”