Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Suzuka, 2018

Renault hit hard by rivals’ engine gains – Sainz

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Renault has struggled in the second half of 2018 because it didn’t expect the gains its Formula 1 rivals have made with their engines, according to Carlos Sainz Jnr.

“I think we’ve taken the biggest hit from the engine side,” said Sainz when asked about the team’s difficult second half of the year.

“We thought by Canada when we were clearly leading the midfield that the B-spec [power unit] had been successful, which it was at the time.

“Up until Hockenheim we were, let’s say, happy enough with what we had. We thought we were going to make it to the end of the year being a Q3 team, scoring points.

“But then those upgrades Mercedes and Ferrari brought to Austria, to Hockenheim, to Hungary, we started to feel them a lot in places like Spa, Monza and consequently in places like Suzuka.

“To compensate that big engine deficit we should have brought a lot more aero than what we brought but I think it’s mainly dominated by engine.”

After Honda introduced its C-spec engine Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost claimed the Japanese manufacturer had overtaken Renault. Sainz isn’t convinced but admitted Honda’s gains in qualifying are “worrying” for Renault.

“I think in qualifying it’s difficult to say. In the race definitely not, I don’t think we’re behind on race pace, I managed to overtake both Honda cars in the race at Suzuka with better race pace than them which was a good boost, I think for us.

“But I do think in qualifying they put a step that for us starts to be worrying. They took a step in qualifying that we didn’t have and that put them in Q3.”

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11 comments on “Renault hit hard by rivals’ engine gains – Sainz”

  1. I remember Renault talking about their own Q3 party mode as early as 2016. Two years in and they still haven’t gotten anything close to party mode. Kind of disappointing that even Honda has a party mode for Q3 now.

    If they don’t up their investment in engine development, I just don’t see them getting any closer to Mercedes or Ferrari. Heck, there’s a decent chance of Honda catching up and overtaking Renault within 2 seasons if they don’t get their act together. That would be beyond embarrassing for them.

    Cyrils comments recently have gotten more vague and unambitous. Despite being a manufacturer, Renault aren’t throwing enough resources at their project to taste true success.

    1. Wait.. they build a completely new engine for next year. That will solve all their problems……

      1. Worked for Honda.

  2. We’ll see tomorrow if Honda has overtaken Renault as well.
    Both STR drivers did well in free practice; Honda seems to be comfortable giving them more power during a longer stint (Gasly had various impressive laps).

    1. Well at least i already am a fan of the Honda Sound!

      1. Would that be the grinding sound, or the exploding sound?

  3. Mégane 1.6 is a fine car no doubt. The RS F1 model lacks cupholders or electric windows but is a track-tuned racing beast of a machine! Renault’s attitude sounds like “we hoped B Spec would be enough because C Spec isn’t ready (so we gave it to Red Bull!)” I’m not sure that is enough to stay at the cutting edge right now. They might be better off focusing on 2021 already and hope to come back with a bang.

  4. What’s Cyril going to say about this, “Carlos has been abandoned by Red Bull”?
    Oh, wait.

  5. “We’ve been hit hard by rival’s gains” is a clever way to say “we’ve been hit hard by our failure to keep up”. He makes it sound as if all engine manufacturers had an agreement and the others broke it leaving Renault behind, which obviously isn’t the case.

  6. Renault struggled because of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

  7. If Renault is complaining about a lack of power or being out-developed, where has Red Bull been getting their engines, sorry … Power Units from.?
    If Red Bull is a second or more ahead of Renault on track and close to the Red and the German cars, what does that say about the state of Renault and their chassis / aero development.? Hello Boys, time to get with the program.
    Am not wishing any ill-will on them, but this is F1 and it is a Development Series. If you don’t advance, you will be left behind. Honda (and painfully so) has got this message and if they deliver even reasonably well, then next year is going to be GREAT.
    I am sure that Renault has something in the works, for next year. If not then D R is going to be pretty disappointed.

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