Renault admits it faces a race against time to have its new car ready for the start of testing in Barcelona on Monday.
The R.S.19 was launched online on Tuesday, with the 2019 livery also unveiled on a largely old car at the team’s factory. As part of the event, managing director Cyril Abiteboul said the new car was in bits at this stage, and with executive director Marcin Budkowski already stating time was tight to get the car ready for the start of the first test, Abiteboul later confirmed the situation is: “Super-tight!
“No, as we speak we are 100% sure of nothing. There will be two drivers, I will be here if you want to have a chat or a coffee! We should have the motorhome and the coffee machine working but that’s as far as I’m 100% sure. We still have good reason to believe that we will be able to test.
“If I share a little bit of a secret, we are still due to start doing our shakedown on Saturday during a filming day. It may or may not take place as we speak. As I’ve been saying sometimes we are vocal about the late change of regulations, that’s the harsh reality of that late change of regulations. I believe we are not the only team to be in that situation.”
Abiteboul puts part of the problem down to the team manufacturing more of its own components following development of its Enstone factory, but therefore not dealing with as many suppliers.
“To a certain degree we are also paying a little bit for the fact we are much more integrated this year than we were before. So I think to a certain degree when you are in such a situation you are a bit more complacent with milestones and internal planning, think that it’s going to be OK.
“When you are only working with suppliers, you can’t do that. You can’t negotiate the lead time with suppliers, the lead time is the lead time. When you are your own supplier you start thinking that I am going to negotiate with myself, so to a certain degree we are also paying a little bit of that price.”