Renault is working on a variety of ways to recover from a poor start to the season after slipping to eighth in the constructors’ championship after the Spanish Grand Prix.
A pair of seventh places — one for Nico Hulkenberg in Australia and another for Daniel Ricciardo in China — remain Renault’s only point-scoring results of the season so far, after both cars finished outside the top 10 in Barcelona. With Haas picking up seven points to move up to sixth place, Renault is now 10 points adrift of McLaren in fourth and managing director Cyril Abiteboul says work is taking place to turn around the disappointing start.
“Barcelona is always a good race weekend to assess the competitiveness of the car and the team after the first couple of fly away races that are not always representative,” Abiteboul said. “The midfield is very close and any deviation leads to spectacular variations. But the result is clear, even without the safety car, a few points could have been possible.
“We are not in line with the targets we have set ourselves. The test (came) at a good moment to assess particular areas of the car in depth and look at important development items as we define our short-term and medium-term action plan to recover from a poor season start that does not alter our determination and our long-term objectives.”
Test driver Jack Aitken (pictured above) followed Hulkenberg in carrying out duties in Barcelona on Wednesday — where Renault tested a number of development items — and insists there are encouraging signs from the car even if the results don’t yet show it.
“The car showed a good level of performance and we looked at a number of interesting development directions and ideas for the future,” Aitken said. “We’ve certainly got a few things to think about now, which should hopefully bear some results.
“I think what people sometimes don’t realize is just how close the fight is with our nearest rivals, so sometimes it’s quite hard for us as a team to stand out. But there’s such strength in depth in the engine and chassis that we’ll definitely get there.”