Renault will use the Spanish Grand Prix as the chance to reset after a disappointing start to the 2019 Formula 1 season, says team principal Cyril Abiteboul.
An encouraging pre-season and seventh place in Australia was in line with Renault’s expectations to attempt to replicate its fourth place in the constructors’ championship from last year, but since then the team has been inconsistent. Daniel Ricciardo picked up another seventh place in China, but reliability issues have contributed to two scoreless weekends that leave the team seventh in the standings.
“The start of the European segment of the season is an opportunity for us to reset,” Abiteboul said. “Overall, it’s been a tough start to the year and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix capped off a run of results that fell short of our expectations. We know we are capable of much more and we need to target clean weekends and races to make the most of our potential.
“To do so, we have work to do on all sides of our operation; chassis and engine on and off track, and work with the drivers to allow them to reach their respective capacities. We are motivated as ever to strive for more and we aim for a full recovery in competitiveness in Spain. We know that the midfield is tight, but this also creates opportunities.”
Chassis technical director Nick Chester expects Renault to be strong in Barcelona based on its performance on the same circuit during pre-season, and he said the team will be joining many others in introducing new parts this weekend.
“Most other teams will do the same, but we have a number of reasonable upgrades that are positive,” Chester said.
“We have a few aero parts to add to the front wing and rear of the car. We are also looking at some mechanical tweaks to improve car balance. At this stage there is a development race going on between the teams, but we will keep pushing hard to get the best from it each weekend.”