Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Renault target gains in all areas after “tough start” to 2019

2019 F1 season

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Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul says the team must make gains in all areas of its Formula 1 operation following its disappointing start to the new season.

The team which finished fourth in last year’s championship is currently seventh in the standings on 12 points, 23 less than it had at the same point last year. Abiteboul said the return to Europe for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix gives the team “an opportunity for us to reset.”

“Overall, it’s been a tough start to the year,” he admitted. “The Azerbaijan Grand Prix capped off a run of results that fell short of our expectations.”

The team failed to score in Baku after Daniel Ricciardo went off while trying to overtake Daniil Kvyat, and Nico Hulkenberg could only muster a lowly 14th after being eliminated in the first stage of qualifying.

“We know we are capable of much more and we need to target clean weekends and races to make the most of our potential,” said Abiteboul.

“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. We’ve seen that fortunes can change in an instant so we go to Barcelona hungry to get our season campaign going.”

The team will bring aerodynamic updates for the front and rear of its RS19 this weekend. Hulkenberg will drive on the first day of the post-race test, then hand over to development driver Jack Aitken on Wednesday.

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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...

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  • 20 comments on “Renault target gains in all areas after “tough start” to 2019”

    1. Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul says the team must make gains in all areas of its Formula 1 operation following its disappointing start to the new season.

      Bit of an understatement but yeah they need to start to deliver.

      The team failed to score in Baku after Daniel Ricciardo went off while trying to overtake Daniil Kvyat,

      Haha the less said about that the better.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        7th May 2019, 12:41

        The attempted overtake was understandable; a bit shady though how he tried to ‘undo’ the overtake ;)

    2. Enough talk, it’s time for Abiteboul to deliver… Good at painting failure as progress. Apparently little else.

      1. I’m also sick of him @skipgamer

      2. ColdFly (@)
        7th May 2019, 12:42

        always reminds me of Horner asking him if Renault had any development money left after hiring Ricciardo ;)

        1. LOL, when did Horner say that? @coldfly Last year, after Ricciardo’s move, or this year?

          1. ColdFly (@)
            7th May 2019, 13:00

            Part of the NetFlix F1 docu (one of the early episodes); must see.

            1. @coldfly – thanks for that :). Horner, always the man with the best zingers in F1.

            2. @coldfly – thanks a ton for that clip. Wow, Cyril comes across as quite a d-bag (although I must admit that exchange has most likely been edited for dramatic reasons).

              And if all that soap-operatic/reality TV sound effects are how the entire F1 documentary sounds, I’m probably better off skipping it.

            3. Have you got any money to spend on your engine now you’ve spent it all on your driver?

    3. arget gains in all areas

      thank god.. they found the problem

    4. I’ve mentioned this before, but to me McLaren are looking more promising this year than Renault. It looks like McLaren hit rock bottom, and are now propelling themselves up from there, while Renault continue to perfect their floundering act.

      Last year I was hoping that the Renault PU’s poor performance was due to Renault holding back until RBR moved onto Honda, and this year Renault would be able to cut loose with a better PU. Instead, they’ve ended up disappointing.

    5. I’ve mentioned this before, but Renault has thus far been the biggest disappointment of the season (bar Williams) given the size of the team, the manufacturer and works-status, budget, etc. I was expecting them to be fourth quite comfortably now that it’s already the fourth season since the takeover of Lotus, and yet they’re still struggling on achieving that. Mclaren and RP capitalized well on both Renault’s and Haas’ lack of pace in Baku points-wise.

      1. @jerejj
        The fourth place last year was very much caused by a very unlucky competition. i.e. Haas screwed up.
        I already feared whats happening now. It’s a shame a driver like Ric is sucked in the swamp and his perspectives dimmed.

    6. It doesn’t sound good, they should be able to point out what they need to improve first (highest priority), then go down the order. You can’t improve everything at once with a constant effort (manpower), you should either shift focus or hire new people but the latest take time to take effect.
      If they need to develop all at once, they might as well take a month to restructure, establish new working set and start on next year’s car…

      Even McLaren at the bottom was more precise and was targeting specific areas of improvement.

    7. I used to have the impression that Red Bull is just whining about Renault for the sake of whining.

      But as I saw:
      1) RBR integrating reasonably well with Honda, and
      2) Renault doing badly for both Factory and customer teams this year (RBR 64 vs Mclaren 18 + Renault 12)

      …I started to feel that maybe there is a lot that justifies RBR’s complaints.

      Red Bul complains, but they delivers. Renault complains and fails to turn things around.

      1. Let’s face it. Renault basked in the glory of RBR fro qite a few years even though by their own admissions n their engine was down on power during the V8 era.

        Once the hybrid era came along, RBR still remained competitive despite the Renault PU being an abomination. They accepted that in year 1 expecting Renault to lift their game in the next (as they promised). When they didn’t, and showed no interest in actually making it better, that was when RBR (rightfully) started to pile on the pressure.

        Since then we’ve heard over and over from Renault “next year it’ll be much better” and I think fans are starting to get the idea that it’s just the same week promises again and again.

        I’m waiting for Renaultbto come out with the “we know what areas we need to work on” statement next although I think Cyril’s latest “we need to improve everywhere” pretty much nails it.

        I thought their signing of Ricciardo last year had signalled a new interest and dedication from Renault but sadly things still seem the same from them. Poor chassis, most unreliable PU components, lower end of the power range, lowest end (if any) of party mode, poor braking…….

        Maybe a change at the top would make a difference but I think now people should probably be looking closely to see whether or not Renault actually commits to 2021. Certainly there’ll be a lot riding on the new regulations – if the budget cap s to high (or non existent) orbthe technical regulations don’t suit them, Renault could actually be the first of the manufacturers to walk away.

    8. Not looking good for Renault for now. Its more than the PU, the car itself is quite bad. The fact that Mclaren have been outperforming them tells its own story.

      Cyril has been on a bit of a PR drive since the back end of last season. Signing Danny Ric was a bit of coup, and he’s been basking in that glory since. I think reality has hit hard this year, and he needs to own up to it.

      I’d like to think that Renault will come good eventually, simply because they’ve been winners in form or another in all era’s of the sport since the late 70s. You’d think their heritage and importance to branding would drive them to achieve this, but the question is, does the public really care about Renault being good in F1?

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