Renault will be competitive enough to get both cars in the points at every race in the 2018 F1 season, according to managing director Cyril Abiteboul.
The team took 10 points-scoring finishes in last year’s 18 races but never managed a double points finish.
“This year it’s improvement everywhere,” said Abiteboul at today’s test. “I believe that we are stronger, the team is stronger, the chassis, the engine, the driver line-up is stronger.”
“I hope and believe we have a package that will be capable of scoring points with the two cars at every race. So that’s giving us more confidence and we will be able to build strategies accordingly. There is much to be done in every aspect but we are taking things step by step.”
Renault is entering its third season since returning to Formula One.
Abiteboul predicts it and its rival teams will continue to make substantial development gains under the aerodynamic rules which were introduced 12 months ago.
“We think there are a number of teams who’ve tried to put a lot of things on their car from day one,” he said. “There have been some teams who have been more conservative.”
“Obviously if you are closer to the top you can afford to be more conservative. We want to have a strong and good baseline that we understand, and build and bring performance from that point onwards.”
Renault will have a “very strong development programme” in 2018, Abiteboul said. “I believe we are still in the early days of the regulation and we still have potential to extract performance in terms of aerodynamics.”
“We are just learning how to make the maximum of the regulations and I think that will be the case for every single team. So we’ve made some strategic decisions, some clear priorities, and every single time we are putting the model car in the wind tunnel we are finding more gains. So we will have to be a little bit patient for that to arrive on the track.”
2018 F1 season
- McLaren staff told us we were “totally crazy” to take Honda engines in 2018 – Tost
- ‘It doesn’t matter if we start last’: How Red Bull’s junior team aided Honda’s leap forward
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault