Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Silverstone, 2018

Renault has received a “wake-up call” from F1 rivals – Abiteboul

2018 British Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul admits the team has received a “wake-up call” from its Formula 1 rivals in recent races.

The team suffered its first point-less result of the year in Austria, where Haas took a large bite out of their points lead. There was no Renault in Q3 for the first time this year at Silverstone, but Nico Hulkenberg finished ‘best of the rest’ behind the top three teams in the race.

“We’ve completed this busy period still in fourth place in the constructors’ championship but this position doesn’t highlight the mid-season wake-up call we’ve received in recent races,” Abiteboul admitted.

The team is just 19 points ahead of Haas and three more points cover the next two teams. “We’re fully aware that the fight for fourth place will not be easy and will continue throughout the second half of the season,” added Abiteboul.

“We rescued a good points finish at Silverstone, a track we knew didn’t play to our strengths, after a bad qualifying, with Nico producing a professional and composed drive to sixth. Carlos [Sainz Jnr] also made an excellent start to be in a position for points, but a racing incident stopped any chances of that. These things happen in Formula 1.

Abiteboul said the upcoming races in Germany and Hungary are more likely to suit the team’s RS18 chassis. It will bring a revised front wing for next week’s race at the Hockenheimring.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

16 comments on “Renault has received a “wake-up call” from F1 rivals – Abiteboul”

  1. Does a “Wake-Up Call” imply that someone was asleep at the switch.?

  2. I am not sure what’s going on at Renault. I know they are much more conservative in their spending than the top 3. But still I would have expected them to dominate the midfield. They are a proper works team. They have several years now developing the car. They have a tremendous chance next year when Red Bull falls behind after putting on the Honda PUs.

    1. Thonk Abiteboul is not the quy for the job. Look at what Vassuer is doing in no time compared to Abiteboul and his budget….
      Could be interesting if Alo went to Renault next year, ehat happend if you mix 2 very toxic guys in one team… nobody in or outside team can be safe:)

    2. @ajpennypacker There is not much in between the Renault and Honda engine currently, and Honda’s development rate is faster than Renault’s, so I seriously doubt Renault will beat Red Bull next year, especially as the Red Bull chassis is still mighty.

      1. There’s no way at all the renault will beat red bull, there’s 1,5 sec performance difference between their chassis! Red bull honda vs renault renault, red bull renault vs renault renault, red bull renault vs renault honda, red bull honda vs renault honda would ALL see red bull win by varying (big) margins, the engines aren’t that far right now, 1 or 1,5 sec chassis difference is huge!

    3. It takes time to build performance. Don’t forget in 2015 the team was still called lotus and was basically running a skeleton crew just trying to survive. Points-wise renault is now exactly in the best position it can be. 4th with a clear margin to 5th and 3rd. In 2015 the lotus team scored as many points during that full season as the renault team has scored this year already.

    4. Prost claimed last year Renault did not want to sign Alonso because they were still several years from being contenders and they didn’t want the extra pressure he would bring.
      I think they are still way ahead of Honda power wise as Gasly stated last week at Silverstone.
      Red Bull proves Renault have a good engine that isn’t too far off Ferrari and Merc but they definitely need to find more HP.
      RBR is taking a giant leap of faith and time will tell whether it was the right decision.
      Renault has the pedigree having won 6 championships over the last dozen or so years so I would have stayed with them instead of jumping to a still unproven supplier.

  3. I don’t see the result of the British GP as worthy of a “Wake Up Call”, in fact it would seem Haas’ results barely worth mentioning. I see the result of the “Triple Header” as being more important, in that they only got 3 lots of points (14 points) in three races, while Haas got 4 lots of points over the three races (32 points). Budget strapped Force India gained 21 points over the three GPs, which should alarm Renault too.

  4. It’s impressive how Hulkenberg is having a dominant season over Sainz. Sainz isn’t a bad driver, he did very good seasons at Toro Rosso. That puts Perez and Ocon in a higher level, since Perez was as fast as Hulk (sometimes faster), and now Ocon is becoming faster than Perez.

  5. Renault have been receiving wake up calls consistently since 2014.

    I don’t see much changing. Sure they’ll develop their chassis a bit more but they can only aspire to betting to 3rd at some point in the future and even that still seems a long long way off.

    That is probably the primary reason that Ricciardo is not signing on for 2019 – they simply don’t seem to have any genuine desire to improve their PU nor the technical expertise to match the top 3 in chassis development.

    One wonders why they even bothered to re-enter as a works team.

  6. @dbradock Can you explain your thinking here? They have a 5 years plan to be back at the top, we are year 3. Mercedes also took 5 years to start winning, please explain why they will never be better than 3rd, you may be right but i wonder on what facts you are making what seems to be biaised comment.

    1. Renault insisted on the Hybrid engines so they could be competitive, that was 7 years ago.

      1. Yeah and they werenot lobbying for a 6 cylinders, and that was Renault as an engine provider not the factory team. It is not secret they had a lot of issues being competitive as an engine supplier, funding and return on investment were not appropriate, hence the decision to either get out or get their own team on a 5 years plan… Let’s not mix everything, otherwise we may as well get back to Renault/Williams time…

    2. Yep it is a biased comment but let’s also base it a bit on fact.

      They have had way more than 3 years to develop that thing the call a PU to be something competitive and still are nowhere near the mark.
      They seem quite unconcerned about they were through the v8 era as well – they freely acknowledged that they were down on power through that era as well. The difference now is that even RBR with its Chassis and Aero genius can’t compete for more than 3rd because the PU is now the most imporTntvfactor

      But most tellingly, Mercedes invested in Lewis Hamilton to help bring them to the top. They invested early to ensure they did get to the top in 5 years.

      If they were really serious, they’d be absolutely killing themselves to get Dan Ricciardo out of RBR or Hamilton from Merc or even possibly Alonso but there’s absolutely no rumour, nothing, other than a suggestion they wouldn’t pay what Ricciardo asked for. To be better than 3rd, Renault needs to spend some $ – On a top class driver, (sorry but Hulks not it), and a top class designer.

      But yeah, you’re mainly right, I’m biased because they’ve produced crap PU’s and cost our Dan a shot at the WDC since he moved to RBR.

  7. Oh Renault, you pushed for Hybrid over all other teams and cried relevance to road cars… time to wake up.

    Quote from article from 2011:
    “But only Renault of F1’s current engine manufacturers were fully behind the rules and a period of negotiations began.

    The switch to V6s was partly at the behest of Ferrari, who objected to the restriction to four cylinders.

    The sport’s longest-serving and most powerful team had objected because the restriction had no relevance to any of their road cars.

    The debate was made more difficult because Renault made clear that it would consider quitting F1 unless the new rules were introduced – the French company is planning for three-quarters of its road-car engines to be small-capacity turbo-hybrids by 2015.”

  8. “the French company is planning for three-quarters of its road-car engines to be small-capacity turbo-hybrids by 2015.”

    So…?? Where are they at currently with this goal.??
    Sine there are (effectively) no or very few Renaults in North America, we don’t get any sense of their model range.
    Heck, I’m still lusting after an R8 Gordini. I know … stand on your head to get the feel for one of these.

Comments are closed.